GOA: A hat-trick from Rhian Brewster led England to the semifinals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 after a 4-1 victory over USA in Goa on Saturday.
It is the first time that England have reached semifinals of the U-17 World Cup. England meet either Brazil or Germany in a last-four meeting in Guwahati on Wednesday.
It was England who looked strong early before USA finished the better side by half-time.
A quick-fire brace from Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster midway through the first half gave the USA a mountain to climb, and USA did not shy away from the challenge.
Led by Josh Sargent, Tim Weah and Ayo Akinola upfront, USA went about carving out numerous opportunities to get back in the game either through possession or, more often, in transition, where the team’s lightning quick counters gave the England defense all it could handle.
Despite going toe-to-toe with the Three Lions, USA had trouble finding the finishing touch and fell further behind in the 64th minute when Morgan Gibbs White scored.
Eight minutes later, Sargent scored at the back post after good pressure from the USA resulted in Sergino Dest’s shot being parried across the face of goal by England goalkeeper Curtis Anderson, who did well to stop numerous U.S. attacks throughout the match.
Dest was unfortunately involved in the game’s final goal in injury time as well, giving away a penalty kick in the 95th minute that Brewster dispatched past the USA custodian Justin Garces, who had kept the USA within striking distance throughout the game with a number of fine saves, sealing a trick and providing the final 4-1 margin.