Despite slipping to defeat against Switzerland on Thursday night, three of our youngsters still helped England book their spot in the quarter-finals of the European Under-17 Championship.
After winning our first two Group A games against Israel and Italy, we knew that simply avoiding a heavy defeat to the Swiss would see us qualify for the next round of the competition.
Xavier Amaechi, Bukayo Saka and Flo Balogun were all handed started by Steve Cooper, while Tyreece John-Jules, Vontae Daley-Campbell and Trae Coyle were unused substitutes.
Avrin Appiah was the first to work a save from Swiss keeper Lucio Soldini, who was quick to get down and deny the goal-bound volley.
Ethain Laird then fired over from close range following a corner, before Balogun’s first-time effort was saved from six yards out.
The hosts were the dominant side for much of the first-half, but with just seconds to go before the break, Felix Mambimbi’s shot found the back of the net through a wicked deflection.
Knowing that another Switzerland goal would send the visitors through, Appiah worked a golden opportunity to buy England some breathing space, but he fired wide from just three yards out.
Moments later James Garner brushed the post with an effort from the edge of the box. It was a nervy ending to the game, but England’s defence stood strong to set up a quarter-final tie against Norway on Sunday, May 13.
The game will kick off at 6pm (UK time) and will be played at Burton Albion.
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