U17 World Cup: Steve Cooper - 'Curtis taking a penalty was part of the plan'

Comments()
Getty
England U17 manager Steve Cooper revealed that goalkeeper Curtis Anderson stepping up to take a spot-kick was part of the plan....

England U17 equalled their best result in a FIFA Under-17 World Cup when they progressed to the qaurter-finals after a 5-3 penalty shootout win against Japan at Kolkata.

The Young Lions' manager Steve Cooper revealed in the post-match press conference that the move to let goalkeeper Curtis Anderson to take one of the five spot-kicks was pre-planned.

"Curtis taking the penalty was a part of the plan. We have a strategy for the penalties for every player whether outfield or goalkeeper. So ya Curtis was a part of our plan for the penalty shootout," Cooper said.

England set up a last eight clash with the USA who had earlier thrashed Paraguay 5-0 in their Round of 16 tie. Cooper remarked that he was aware that his side had equalled England's previous best and was looking forward to take it at least one notch further this time.

"We are aware of the fact that we have never crossed the quarter-final. We have already equalled that record. As I said at the start of the tournament that we are working in two ways - one is to be successful in any given tournament we take part in."

The Angel Gomes led side have received tremendous support in Kolkata and Cooper added that he would love to be back in the city provided his side can progress further into the tournament with the final slated to be held in the city.

"We’ll love to comeback to Kolkata obviously to stay in the completion. The city has been amazing, the crowd, attendance. It has been amazing, so good for the players, not just England but all the players in such developmental tournaments. The local public deserves a pat in the back for that," he said about the city.

Despite failing to find the back of the net after scoring 11 goals in the group stages, Cooper was not too worried and instead praised Japan for their defensive work.

"We didn’t concede so that is a massive positive. This was a really tough game tonigyt. Japan were really good. Tough luck that they couldn’t make it. They played really good football in second half. They had some shots from the edge of the box. We can’t always score 11 goals. Its hard to do that. We made sure that we didn’t concede. We created chances. This is a really tough tournament, all the teams to progress we need the luck. We are looking forward to go to Goa. Great learnings from the games so far," he said to conclude.

His Japanese counterpart also took pride in his side's defensive contribution but rued his side's lack of cutting edge up front.

"It went almost as it was planned. We wanted to defend well in the first match. One thing which lacked was we failed to score. I was very impressed how the players played. I am very proud of them. We could show our strength playing as a unit against a strong opponent. I would want them to change these tears to energy to develop themselves," the coach said.

The Japanese maintained that his boys had a long road ahead to catch up with their European rivals.

"Very difficult to tell that now. In the group stage we tried to play in our own style. Some worked some didn't. Today we played against a strong England side, we had our gameplan. We knew that we had a chance to win. We need to improve our techniques, accuracy, determination, speed and also intensity," he said.

The coach agreed that Borussia Dortmund starlet Jadon Sancho's absence might have helped his side's chances though he would have loved to see him play.

Article continues below

"Maybe it was an advantage. But I wanted him (Sancho) to play," he remarked.

 

 

Close