FIFA U-17 World Cup: Little known facts about England’s young champions

October 30, 2017

FIFA U-17 World Cup


With a thrilling 5-2 victory over Spain in the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, England became only the second country to hold the world titles in both the age-group tournaments. England had lifted the FIFA U-20 World Cup trophy earlier this year, defeating Venezuela in the final.

England put up a remarkable fightback after conceding two goals in the final on Saturday to create history. Sergio Gomez had scored the first two goals for Spain, but England returned strongly, especially in the second half to clinch the world title.

For the eventual world champions, it was the 44th-minute goal from Rhian Brewster that opened England’s account. Morgan Gibbs-White’s equaliser in the 58th minute levelled the game, and from there on, they dominated the game. Phil Foden scored his goals in the 69th and 88th minutes, while Marc Guehi scored the final goal in the 89th minute.

Arguably the star of England’s win in the final with two goals, Foden’s prowess has been long acknowledged. Ever since he moved to Manchester City back in 2008, Foden garnered attention and he has managed to impress the club manager Pep Guardiola. Watching him play against Manchester United in a pre-season game, Guardiola confessed, “It’s a long time since I saw something like this. His performance was on another level. I don’t have words — I would like to have the right words to describe what I saw.”

The England U-17 coach, Steve Cooper, may not be have much experience of playing at this level but he has garnered enough knowledge as a coach. Cooper’s father Keith, according to BBC, officiated several European Championship qualifiers and three seasons of Premier League as a top-flight referee.

Angel Gomes, who replaced Wayne Rooney in Manchester United’s last match in the Premier League, became the youngest footballer to do so since Duncan Edwads in 1953. He has been at the club since he was 13, according to BBC. A cousin of Portuguese winger Nani, Gomes’ father Gil played in the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship.

Steven Sessegnon’s on-field exploits may not have been as commanding as of his twin brother Ryan’s, but he did well to assist two goals in the final. He is a part of the Fulham developemental setup and will surely attract the attention of bigger clubs in the future.

England goalkeeper Curtis Anderson had a poor debut —conceding 23 goals against the Furness Rovers while playing playing for Crookland Casuals. But he made tremendous progress after that, and at the age of 11, Anderson moved to Manchester City for 15,000 pounds.

George McEachran’s brother – Josh – played for England in all age groups from 16 to 20, while Zac joined the London side while playing in the U-14s.

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