England beat Spain 2-1 yesterday in the final of the U17 European Championships in Liechtenstein.
The triumphant England U17 side
The talented England side, who beat France 2-1 with two goals from Ipswich star Connor Whickam came from a goal behind to win the U17 European title for the first time.
The Spanish side started strongly and went ahead after 22 minutes through Gerard when the Spanish player cut in from the left and fired the ball home past England goalkeeper Jack Bullard.
The ball was deflected into the goal by England center-back Andre Wisdom, but Andre got England back level after 30 minutes when he headed home from Josh McEachran’s corner.
England were improving and getting back into the game and then Ipswich whiz-kid Connor Wickham scored a good goal after just 2 minutes of the second half to put England ahead.
That was Connor’s third goal in the last two games, and of course the 17 year-old also scored a terrific goal against Newcastle late in the season at St. James’ Park when playing for Ipswich.
Spain came right back in the game in the second half and England had goalkeeper Bullard to thank for some good saves, but the England youngsters thoroughly deserved the win on merit.
We have to hope this win is an omen for the senior England side.
Although the senior England side have looked hopeless in their two warm-up games, they still won both games, and the time to start playing well starts against the USA a week come Saturday.
But huge congratulations to the young stars of England on putting us back on the European football map.
13 Adrián Ortolá, 2 Edu (11 Juan Bernat, 73), 4 Jonás Ramalho, 5 Víctor Álvarez, 6 Sergi Darder, 7 Jesé Rodríguez, 8 José Campaña, 9 Paco (C), 12 Israel, 17 Gerard, 18 Jorge Ortí (15 Pablo, 45)
Substitutes not used 1 Alfonso Herrero, 3 Uxío, 10 Saúl Ñiguez, 14 Cristian Galas, 16 Aitor Castro
Head Coach: Ginés Meléndez
13 Jack Butland, 2 Bruno Pilatos, 3 Luke Garbutt, 4 Conor Coady (C), 5 Nathaniel Chalobah, 6 Andre Wisdom, 7 Will Keane (8 George Thorne, 67), 9 Benik Afobe (11 Rob Hall, 73), 15 Josh McEachran (14 Tom Thorpe, 79), 16 Ross Barkley, 17 Connor Wickham
Substitutes not used 1 Sam Johnstone, 10 Saido Berahino, 12 Ben Gibson, 18 Luke Williams
Head Coach: John Peacock
Referee Antti Munukka (FIN)
Assistant Referees Angelo Boonman (NED) and Matej Žuni
Fourth Official Stanislav Todorov (BUL)