KOLKATA, Oct 28, (AFP): Manchester City starlet Phil Foden scored twice as England came from behind to crush Spain 5-2 in the Under 17 World Cup final on Sunday.
Victory added to England’s growing list of youth honours — they have won the Under 20 World Cup and European Under 19 championship this year — and was revenge for losing the Under 17 European Championship final to Spain in May.
On top of Foden’s second half brace, Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster scored his seventh goal of the tournament and Morgan Gibbs-White and Marc Guehi also pierced the normally solid Spanish defence at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata.
Gibbs White’s low shot in the first minute of a fierce-paced final in front of 66,600 fans produced a lightning reflex save from Alvaro Fernandez in the Spanish goal. But Spain captain Abel Ruiz masterminded the first goal in the 10th minute, heading the ball down in the goal area for Barcelona teammate Sergio Gomez to push the ball in the net.
On 31 minutes Ruiz again opened the England defence and laid the ball on for Cesar Gelabert who found Gomez on the other side of the area waiting to rocket a shot past goalkeeper Curtis Anderson.
England fought hard to get back into the game. Callum Hudson-Odoi fired a right foot shot onto the post with Fernandez beaten.
The pressure paid off in the 44th minute when Steven Sessegnon crossed from the right and an unmarked Brewster headed past Fernandez. With the final action of the half, Brewster sent a 22-metre free kick at the goal which Fernandez just tipped over the bar.
The second resumed at a furious pace with England pushing hard for an equaliser.
The breakthrough came in the 58th minute when Foden took the ball into the Spain penalty area and laid it on to Sessegnon who found Gibbs-White with plenty of space to fire the ball past Fernandez.
Hudson-Odoi set up the crucial third goal in the 69th minute, crossing from the left after beating two Spanish defenders and Foden shot in unmarked.
Guehi chested the ball in amid a goalmouth scramble to seal victory and set up a niggly finale in which Brewster was booked.
Earlier Brazil beat Mali 2-0 in the third-place playoff to earn a consolation after they lost to England in the semifinal.
Alan scored in the 55th minute when Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita fumbled the Palmeiras striker’s shot which went past him into the net. Substitute Yuri Alberto scored the second in the 88th minute. With the Mali defence tiring, Brenner crossed from the right and Yuri was unmarked to fire in from close range.