USA to face England in Under-17 World Cup quarterfinals

Cesar Mills
October 19, 2017

England scraped through to the quarter finals of the U 17 World Cup soccer edging past a fighting Japan 5-3 in the penalty shoot out at Vivekananda Yuaba Bharati Krirangan here Tuesday night.

England have reached the quarters only twice before, in 2007 and 2011.

Having topped their group with three wins out of three, England went into the game as strong favourites despite the absence of Jadon Sancho, who was recalled by his club Borussia Dortmund.

England showed character in the penalty shootout with a 100 per cent conversion, beginning with Rhian Brewster, who slotted it home with Japan goalkeeper Kosei Tani making a wrong dive. Other England players to score were Rihan Brewster, Hudson, Foden and Nya Kirbi.

England will now take on the United States of America in Goa on October 21.

Coming to Japan, the Yoshiro Moriyama-coached side gave a poor account of themselves in their last group engagement, drawing 1-1 with minnows New Caledonia who until then had shipped a dozen goals in two matches. The match slowly picked up pace after both the teams looked tentative with their moves in the first 10 minutes.

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Foden occupied the attacking midfielder's position, and initiated several promising moves, but England's finishing was poor. Foden initiated the moves but they failed to finish and survived a couple of Japanese onslaught late in the first- half.

Japan may have been second best in terms of possession, but they nearly broke the deadlock with Keito Nakamura seeing his effort blocked before Soichiro Kozuki smashed the rebound into the side netting.

First the highlight reel of Japan, which prompted Yoshiro Moriyama to comment after the game that "it went nearly as it was planned".

"We're staying focused, not getting carried away and looking forward to a really tough game coming up against the USA", he said. Angel Gomes took Sancho's place while Steven Sessegnon replaced right-back Timothy Eyoma.

In fact, the Cooper side went into the break under pressure with the Japanese attack stepping on the gas, though the Young Lions defence held on to thwart attempts from Soichiro Kozuki and Keito Nakamura.

Kubo and Miyashiro ensured their tireless efforts saw Japan finish the 90 minutes in the ascendancy and Kubo's best effort, following a delicious side-of-the-heel release by Fukuoka, was well saved by Anderson.

Other reports by GizPress

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