England scripted a dramatic turnaround in Kolkata to win the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup for the very first time after a 5-2 win over European U17 champions Spain on Saturday.
A spirited show from the Young Lions saw them overturn Sergio Gomez's first-half brace (10', 31') by putting five goals past a hapless Spanish defence (Brewster 44', Gibbs-White 58', Foden 68', 88', Guehi 84').
It also served as sweet revenge for the English boys who had been beaten in the Euro U17 final by Spain a few months earlier in Croatia.
Both coaches opted to name an unchanged eleven from the semi-finals. Interestingly, it must be noted that Spain haven’t altered their starting eleven from their opening match against Brazil at the Under-17 World Cup.
The Young Lions started on a brighter note as they could have taken the lead in the very first minute. Gibbs-White slid the ball for Brewster who returned it back for the former. The Wolverhampton youngster’s attempt was just about kept out by Alvaro Fernandez.
However, it was the Spaniards who went ahead in the 10th minute. Ruiz sent a through-ball for Miranda on the left whose cross struck Panzo who got his defensive header wrong. The ball was moving towards the goal with Gomez back-heeling it in to make it 1-0.
The goal took the wind out of England’s sails as Spain began to dictate play. They could have easily made it 2-0 up in the 21st minute. England poured forward in numbers and with one of their passes being intercepted, Spain had three attackers in the opposition half. However, Moha’s touch was a bit heavy which allowed Curtis Anderson to avert the danger.
They didn’t have wait too long to double their lead. From a counterattack, Ruiz found Gelabert in space, however, the latter’s attempt was blocked and the ball was still in play. Gomez picked up the pieces and scored his second of the game.
Towards the closing stages of the first half, England looked a better attacking unit. Hudson-Odoi struck the post before Brewster handed England a lifeline with a goal in the 44th minute. It was Sessegnon who made the goal with a brilliant cross from the right.
After the break, England continued from where they ended the first half. Phil Foden was asking all sorts of questions of the Spanish defence and it wouldn't be long before they equalised.
In the 58th minute, Sessegnon sent in a low cross into the box which was met by Gibbs-White who tapped it in from close range to bring England back into the tie.
England continued their dominance and were soon rewarded for their perseverance. George McEachran sent a perfectly weighted through-ball to Hudson-Odoi. The left winger left Mateu for dead and saw his low cross across the box turned in by Phil Foden expertly as England took the lead for the very first time in the game.
However, Spain could have found the equalizer soon after. From a corner-kick, Anderson missed the flight of the ball and Ruiz chipped it back into a dangerous area. Spanish defender Chust directed a header in towards goals from close range but saw it cleared off the line by an alert Sessegnon.
The final nail in the coffin came in the 84th minute with a goal from centre-back Marc Guehi. Hudson-Odui’s free-kick into the box wasn’t cleared as Panzo put the ball on the feet of Guehi who turned it into the net from close range to signal the end of Spain's challenge.
Four minutes later, Manchester City’s Foden grabbed his brace and added an emphatic touch to the result. Hudson-Odoi ran through the Spanish defence and set it up for Foden who sealed the World Cup win for England in style with a sweeping finish past Alvaro Fernandez.