England scored twice in the second half to beat Group B winners Portugal to reach the final of the UEFA under-17 Championship which is currently being held in Malta.
The result comes as a surprise as during the first half, Portugal were clearly the better side, creating several chances and hitting the posts no less than three times. But during the second half, England improved considerably and scored the goals which enabled them to book a place in Wednesday’s final.
Photo: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
The Portuguese held the initiative in the early stages going close through a low shot by Gonçalo Rodrigues when served from the right by Alexandre Silva ending just wide on 15 minutes. A minute later, Diogo Goncalves hit the upright with a shot from the right. Portugal maintained the pressure and hit the crossbar through captain Ruben Neves on the 19th.
One minute from the end of the first half, Portugal hit the posts once again through Diogo Goncalves with a shot from outside the area.
Three minutes in the second half, England had the first real attempt at goal with substitute Joseph Onomah hitting just wide when served by Patrick Roberts from the left.
However on the 51st minute, England took the lead when Taylor Moore sent Dominic Solanke through and the latter intelligently chipped the ball over goalkeeper Fabio Duarte.
Portugal replied with a cross shot by Hugo Santos from the right which was saved in two attempts by Fredrick Woodman and on the hour, Diogo Goncalves headed wide off a cross by Buta from the right. The same player went close with a shot from outside the area ending just wide on the 66th. However four minutes later, England threatened once again with Isiaiah Brown just failing to connect off an inviting pass by Joseph Gomez. On the 73rd, Patrick Roberts concluded a solo effort with a shot from the edge of the area ending just wide.
Five minutes from time, England sealed the issue with the second goal with Patrick Roberts concluding a solo effort on the right by pulling to the centre and beating Duarte with a fine shot which was slightly deflected by a defender.
Photos: Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar
no images were found
PORTUGAL Fabio Duarte, Hugo Santos, Ruben Dias, Yuri Ribeiro (75′ Pedro Empis), Ruben Neves, Diogo Goncalves, Gonçalo Rodrigues (54′ Buta), Alexandre Silva, Renato Sanches, Francisco Ferreira, Joao Carvalho (77′ Pedro Delgado).
ENGLAND Fredrick Woodman, Jonjoe Kenny, Tafari Moore (72′ Mandela Egbo), Ryan Ledson, Joseph Gomez, Adam Armstrong (35′ Joshua Onomah), Dominic Solanke, Isiaiah Brown, Lewis Cook, Taylor Moore, Patrick Roberts (77′ Callum Cooke).
Referee: Alexander Harkam (AUT)