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UEFA U17 Euro Finals: England Secure Quarter-Final Spot with Dominant 3-1 Victory Over Spain

[Credit: UEFA]

England U17 secured their passage into the knockout stages of the UEFA U17 European Championships with a 3-1 victory over Spain in their penultimate group game.

England went into their last group match knowing that a victory would guarantee their place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA U17 European Championships.

The team took an early lead in the fifth minute through Shumaira Mheuka. Callum Olusesi’s pass found Mheuka inside the box; he got away from his marker before striking the ball into the bottom right corner to give Greg Lincoln’s side the lead.

After conceding the first goal, Spain controlled possession, and England were content to pick their moments in transition.

Spain equalized in the 23rd minute through Adrian Arnu. The Real Valladolid youth centre-forward received a pass from Jesus Fortea, looped the ball over Kian Noble, and weaved his way through a couple of England players before rifling his shot into the top right corner past Oliver Whatmuff.

Spain had some chances to take the lead for the first time in the match. However, the England defense stood firm and defended their area with authority.

England ended the first half strongly as Ethan Nwaneri and goalscorer Shumaira Mheuka had good chances to regain England’s lead before halftime.

Five minutes into the second half, Spanish goalkeeper Manu Gonzalez made a crucial stop to deny Ethan Nwaneri from getting on the scoresheet.

In the 54th minute, Adrian Arnucio missed a simple tap-in from close range after Jesus Fortea delivered a low cross into his path, which he failed to convert.

Tottenham Hotspur’s young star, Mikey Moore, curled a brilliant shot into the top right corner from outside the box to regain England’s lead in the 73rd minute. That brilliant strike gave Manu Gonzalez no chance of saving it, and it was his fourth goal of the tournament.

England made it 3-1 in the 85th minute, securing their passage into the knockout stages. Spain lost possession, and Divine Mukasa drove through the middle of the pitch on the counter. He then found Ethan Nwaneri, who slotted the ball into the net to extend England’s lead and end any potential comeback from the Spaniards.

Spain’s night went from bad to worse as Jesus Fortea was sent off for two bookable offenses.

England saw out the remaining minutes of the match to progress to the quarter-finals as runners-up alongside group winners Portugal.

England will face Italy in the quarter-finals on Thursday at 6:30 pm for a spot in the semi-finals of the UEFA European U17 Championships.

Spain are a really good side, really well-coached, wonderful individual players with a clear identity, so it was always going to be a really tough challenge for us. But the boys rose to that challenge, and it made for a really good game.

Greg Lincoln, England manager, speaking to UEFA.com

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