England U17 v Belgium U17 Highlights (3-3 on aggregate)
Some of the stars of the future were present at St George’s Park for this two-part friendly between England and Belgium at U17 level.
England U17 2-1 Belgium U17 – 28/01/2014
On Wednesday, The Three Lions came from behind to claim first blood to earn a 2-1 victory in the last minute, courtesy of a Dominic Solanke brace in the second half. Belgium were out of the blocks quickest, getting a penalty kick inside the first few minutes after Stefan O’Connor was adjudged to have fouled Nany Dimata. However, the striker could only put his spotkick wide, much to the relief of the hosts. The Rode Duivels had the best chances in the first half on the counter, but were unable to make them count. England fought back in the opening exchanges in the second half, but were caught cold by a through-ball that sent Club Brugge youngster Paolo Bertaccini in on goal that gave Belgium the lead. However just seven minutes later, England levelled through Chelsea scholar Solanke. Then just as full-time was approaching, Solanke struck again, cooly to give England victory. England U17 Head Coach John Peacock was pleased with how his side came back to win, despite finding themselves on the backfoot.
England 1 Dean Henderson, 12 Tafari Moore, 5 Stefan O’Connor, 16 Tom Brewitt (6 Dael Fry 58 mins), 3 Max Lowe, 4 Ryan Ledson (C) (18 Kieran Dowell 67 mins), 15 Isaac Christie Davies (2 Jonjoe Kenny 76 mins), 8 Callum Cooke (17 Lewis Cook 58 mins), 7 Maitland-Niles, 9 Dominic Solanke, 11 Brandon Fox (10 Demetri Mitchell 67 mins) Subs not used: 13 Sam Howes, 14 Cameron Borthwick-Jackson
Belgium 1 Nordin Jackers, 2 Yan De Maeyer (16 Ayron Verkindere 55 mins), 3 Nathan Leyder (C), 4 Dries Wouters, 5 Jonathan Mambabua, 6 Ilkan Cavus, 7 Paolino Bertaccini (18 Thibault Vlietinck 70 mins), 8 Casper De Norre (14 Dylan Damraoui 55 mins)’ 9 Nany Dimata, 10 Marco Weymans (17 Arno Verschueren 40 mins), 11 Matthias Verreth Subs not used: 12 Quintijn Steelant, 13 Jeff Callebaut,15 Andrea Morias
England U17 1-2 Belgium U17 – 30/01/2014
Returning two days later with revenge fresh in their minds, the Belgium U17’s struck late to level the double-header 3-3 on aggregate. Matthias Verreth scored the winner on the night with a back heeled flick eight minutes from the end after great work from Dylan Damraoui to get the ball into the danger zone when he could have gone down. On an overcast day at St Georges Park England controlled the match, yet like in the previous game it was Belgium who took the lead. Club Brugge starlet Damraoui, who impressed throughout as well as getting the aforementioned assist, drilled an unstoppable effort into the top corner from 20 yards out. That was the way it stayed until three minutes into the second half, when Manchester United striker Demetri Mitchell knocked the ball over the keeper and into the net. With both sides pressing for a winner, it was Belgium who would settle the score, with PSV talent Verreth scoring from close range.
Thank you to The FA for allowing us to show the highlights on the site.