FIFA U-17 World Cup: How England stunned Spain to lift maiden title

Updated: 29 October, 2017 10:25 IST | Kashinath Bhattacharjee | Kolkata

Spain overwhelmed 2-5 as Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium is stunned

Trailing 0-2 in the first 31 minutes, England came back strongly to net one before the lemon break and four in the last 45 minutes to beat Spain 5-2 in the under-17 World Cup final at the Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday night. England's unbelievable performance helped them emulate Brazil's feat of winning the FIFA U-20 and U-17 World Cups in the same calendar year. Kolkata, once the capital of the British empire in India, were witness to an unforgettable story for British football. In the 10th minute, Sergio Gomez had his first strike in front of 66,684 spectators to help his team earn the lead. Abel Ruiz saw it quickly and passed the ball to the rushing Juan Miranda who sent a centre to the box where Cesar Gelabert chested it towards Gomez. The No. 10 added the finishing touches with his left foot when his back was to the English goal.

England players are ecstatic after beating Spain 5-2 to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Kolkata. Pic/PTI
England players are ecstatic after beating Spain 5-2 to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Kolkata. Pic/PTI

Moukhliss misses
Soon, it should have been 2-0, but Mohamed Moukhliss, the midfielder missed a golden chance. He received the ball almost in the centre circle. Nobody was there to protect the English goal. But on the run, Moha's last touch was too heavy and the English goalkeeper Curtis Anderson came out at the right time to deny him. However, in the 31st minute, it was time for Spain to go ahead 2-0. Gomez scored again. Ruiz from the right flank passed to Gelabert, who sent it to Gomez on the top of the left box and Gomez's left footer found the perfect angle of the far post.

Brewster strikes
England, set back by the two goals in succession, came back at the dying moments of the first half through a classic English goal where Steven Sessegnon sent a high cross and Rhian Brewster headed in his eighth goal — the highest by any footballer in the tournament to win the Golden Boot award. Spain continued to lose possession and the barrage of attack from the English colts found the equaliser when Philip Foden had a delightful pass to Sessegnon again and from right side of the box. His low cross found an unmarked Morgan Gibbs-White to tap it in the 58th minute. The moment of the match came when the two best English footballers of the tournament combined for the third and decisive goal in the 69th minute. From the left Hudson-Odoi had another devastating run through Miranda and his along-the-ground cross was neatly netted by Foden for a 3-2 lead. Guehi and Foden scored the fourth and fifth goal in the 84th and 88th minute respectively.

12,80,459 Record number of spectators witnessed the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, breaking the earlier mark set by China in 1985

First Published: 29 October, 2017 08:49 IST

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