FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: In-form England face Mexico in marquee Group F clash

Kolkata: Fresh from a rousing start to their campaign, England’s firepower will be tested by two-time former champions Mexico in a mouthwatering group F contest of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Proving too hot for Chile, England asserted their supremacy in the group with a 4-0 rout and another similar outing will certainly seal their pre-quarterfinal berth.

File image of England U-17 Football team. Getty Images

But ‘El Tri’ will be no pushovers and the Mario Arteaga outfit is bidding for its first win in this edition after being held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Iraq.

Having won two titles since the turn of the century, Mexico are one of the most consistent sides of the tournament.

After conceding an early 16th minute goal by Mohammed Dawood, Mexico became nervous but looked in control in the second half, in which they scored through Roberto de la Rosa six minutes after the break.

Mexico had a heartbreak in the 74th minute when Diego Lainez came close to scoring.

“It is always to difficult to begin a World Cup. Players were nervous which is obvious. For the first 20 or 25 minutes they were on the back foot. As the game progressed they gained momentum and took control. They needed time to compose,” Arteaga said.

England’s Jadon Sancho, who rejected an offer from Manchester City to join Borussia Dortmund last week in a projected Pound 10 million deal, showed why he’s in demand.

The Dortmund forward struck twice taking over after Chelsea midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi gave England the lead inside five minutes with Sancho making the assist.

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Then came the turn for Manchester United prodigy Angel Gomes who curled in a freekick coming on as a substitute and the holiday turnout of over 46,000 in the country’s biggest football amphitheatre could not have asked for a better kick- off.

It was a big statement from the Steve Cooper side which seem determined to follow up a summer of success at youth level — winning the U-20 World Cup in Korea and making the Euro U-21 last-four in Poland earlier this year.

England, who failed to progress beyond group stage in the last edition in Chile 2015, have not progressed beyond quarterfinals from three attempts as Cooper faces the biggest group F challenge.

Arteaga had opted for a four-man backline in Ral Sandoval, Alan Maeda, Carlos Robles and Adrin Vzquez and it remains to be seen how they cope against the menacing English attack.

Squads (from):

England: Curtis Anderson, Josef Bursik, William Crelin; Timothy Eyoma, Joel Latibeaudiere, Marc Guehi, Jonathan Panzo, Lewis Gibson, Steven Sessegnon, Morgan Gibbs White, Tashan Oakley Boothe; Conor Gallagher, Angel Gomes, Nya Kirby, George McEachran; Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson Odoi, Philip Foden, Emile Smith Rowe, Rhian Brewster, Danny Loader.

Mexico: Victor Diaz, Cesar Lopez De Alba, Cesar Rafael Ramos Becerra; Alan Maeda Luevanos, Luis Alejandro Olivas Salcedo, Oscar Haret Ortega Gatica, Carlos Alejandro Robles Jimnez, Adrin Vzquez Hernndez, Sergio Villarreal Lozano, Ral Martn Sandoval Zavala; Luis Javier Gamz vila, Carlos Eduardo Guerrero Zavala, Alexis Hazael Gutirrez Torres, Diego Lanez Leyva, Deivoon Alexander Magaa Rico, Jess Andrs Prez lvarez, Marco Antonio Ruz Zarco; an Jairo Misael Torres Ramrez, Roberto Carlos De la Rosa Gonzlez, Csar Sal Huerta Valera, Daniel Guadalupe Lpez Valdez.

Published Date: Oct 11, 2017 01:18 pm | Updated Date: Oct 11, 2017 01:18 pm

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