Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

England pip Japan, advance to quarters

Yoshiro Moriyama FIFA U-17 World Cup Salt lake Stadium Japan vs England Borussia Dortmund Call Back Jadon Sancho From World Cup Duty With Possible Debut in the Offing
Derrick Tucker | 19 October, 2017, 00:49

A minute before half-time, Kuzuki failed to keep his shot down after finding ample of space in the 18-yard box.

Sancho had been impressing at the tournament, scoring three goals and notching two assists before his withdrawal, and the team will surely miss his influence as they prepare to face Japan in Kolkata in the last 16 on Tuesday.

Japan, lining up in a traditional 4-4-2, played with 10 men behind the ball whenever they conceded possession in their own half. He replaced Nakamura and would have been considered a defensive option initially - as right-back Hinata Kida was exposed by the pace and power of England's Callum Hudson-Odoi - but proved to be Kubo's best ally in creating panic in the England defence in the closing stages of the game.

"But we look forward, not back, and I've said on many occasions that it isn't about one player and if any of the boys left through any reasons such as injuries or club commitments, we will always be about the team and the squad".

But from what has been on display over the last week, it would be naive to imagine Steve Cooper's charges struggling against Japan even sans Sancho. In the end, the penalty shootout provided a fitting end to an engrossing goalless draw.

"He loves playing for England and this team in particular so it's sad to see him go".

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England will be without the services of Jadon Sancho for the rest of the U17 World Cup, after he was called back by his club Borussia Dortmund.

Goalkeeper Anderson, who plays for Manchester City, stepping out to take a penalty moments after saving one was part of the plan, Cooper said.

And with no extra-time in the tournament, the game went straight to the shootout. The 17-year-old then stepped up to make it 4-2 before Crystal Palace's Nya Kirby ensured Mark Cooper's side will face US in the last eight in Goa on Saturday.

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

And the English manager was quick to realise that. "The crowd here has been wonderful; such attendances are such good experience for players in development tournaments". "I am absolutely convinced we have players who are capable of playing for England", he added. They play with a clear identity so we know we're coming up against a tough opposition but you wouldn't expect any different in a quarter-final of a World Cup.

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