Kolkata: England came from two goals down to defeat European champions Spain 5-2 and win their first-ever FIFA U-17 World Cup title in front of 66,684 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata, India, on Saturday.
In what was a pulsating final contest at India 2017, Spain raced out to a two-goal lead through a brace from Sergio Gomez.
The Barcelona youngster opened the scoring just 10 minutes in, nodding home in front of England goalkeeper Curtis Anderson after Juan Miranda’s cross from the left struck Cesar Gelabert and bounced goalwards.
Gomez’s second goal just after the half-hour mark was a fine strike from close range, with Gelabert and captain Abel Ruiz involved in the build-up.
Undeterred, England fought back to score five unanswered goals.
They halved the deficit just before half-time through Rhian Brewster’s tournament-leading eighth goal. The Liverpool striker headed home Steven Sessegnon’s fine cross from the right.
Sessegnon’s willingness to get forward and support the England attack drew them level just before the hour mark, as his low cross found an unmarked Morgan Gibbs White to make it 2-2.
The Three Lions then took the lead through Philip Foden’s second goal of the tournament on 69 minutes, as he converted Callum Hudson-Odoi’s run and cross.
Any hopes of a Spain comeback ended on 84 minutes, as Marc Guehi finished off a Hudson-Odoi free-kick for England’s fourth before Foden raced in on the counter-attack for his second of the match in the late stages. England’s win follows the U-20’s success at Korea Republic 2017 earlier this year.
Earlier, Brazil claimed third place with a 2-0 victory over Mali at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium.
A goalless first half saw the African champions show more urgency and intent to break the deadlock with efforts from Boubacar Haidara, captain Mohamed Camara, and Salam Jiddou.
However, a lack of finish and good goalkeeping by Brazil’s Gabriel Brazao kept the Eaglets off the scoresheet.
It was early in the second half that Brazil won the third place play-off in very fortunate circumstances.
Alan made a run towards the Mali goal before striking a rolling shot at the target.
It looked a routine save for Eaglets goalkeeper Youssouf Koita, but he allowed the bouncing ball to slip past him and into the net.
Though the West Africans tried their best to find an equaliser, Brazil sealed victory with a late goal from substitute Yuri Alberto.
It is the second time that the South Americans have finished third at a U-17 World Cup.
Islamic Republic of Iran were Asia's best performers at the tournament, with their first ever run to the quarter-finals being ended by Spain. Japan and Iraq made the last-16 stage while DPR Korea and hosts India were eliminated in the group stage.
Source: FIFA / Getty Images
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