Netherlands, the reigning European U17 Champions, beat England 2-0 today in Malta in the final group game, which means the Netherlands have a perfect record of 9 points from their three games, with England second with 6 points in Group A.
Adam Armstrong – rested today – but was a sub in second hald
But England took the opportunity to rest some of their top players – a draw would have seen England win the group – and those rested included Newcastle’s top youngsters, Freddie Woodman and Adam Armstrong.
England do still qualify for the semi-finals through being second in their group, and they now meet Group B winners Portugal on Sunday.
It was a close game against the Netherlands in the first half, but after 45 minutes Calvin Verdonk hit a great shot from 33 yards out which beat England goalkeeper Samuel Howes, who got his first start in the tournament, after Newcastle’s Freddie Woodman had played in the first two games.
England had made seven changes from the side that beat Turkey 4-1 on Monday afternoon, but the Dutch had made only three changes, and that finally helped the Dutch, who were on top in the second half
Adam Armstrong had been rested, but in the second half the Newcastle youngster was brought on as a sub, as England went for goals in the second half.
But England were susceptible to the quick break, and the Netherlands scored their second goal through a header from van der Moot after 68 minutes, after he had only just been introduced as a sub, to give the Netherlands the win and the finish at the top of Group A..
The defeat breaks an 8 game winning streak in the U17 competition for England, who will field their best side against Portugal on Sunday in the semi-finals, and both Adam Armstrong and Freddie Woodman are expected to start that game.