KOLKATA: Goalkeeper Curtis Anderson emerged the hero for England as he saved Hinata Kida’s penalty to ensure his team’s passage in the quarterfinals of FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 on Tuesday.
The Round of 16 clash between England and Japan at Saltlake Stadium at saw both sides level at 0-0 till the end of regulation time and the match eventually went to penalties and Three Lions won 5-3.
The first half was a evenly matched contest with the teams were watchful not to press too many men forward and as a result there were not many chances to pounce upon.
However, as the game progressed England gradually gained control and created game’s first scoring opportunity when Rhian Brewster controlled a ball outside the box only to fire his volley wide in the 14th minute.
Japan, on the other hand, did show some excellent moves in patches but find it difficult to penetrate into the rival box.
After pushing up for a long time, England created the best chance of the first half in the 26th minute. Angel Gomes cut in from the right and with an intelligent ball sent Callum Hudson-Odoi clear on the left. Odoi controlled the ball and tried to volley over the keeper but he was denied by a brilliant save from the Japan custodian Kosei Tani.
Thereafter, both sides battled hard in the midfield, but with the game turning physical there weren’t many chances as both sides went into the breather tied at goalless.
The second half was played at much higher intensity than the first and both sides had some close chances with England going extremely close twice in the opening fifteen minutes but was denied by poor finishing.
England had their chances through Brewster and Phil Foden, while Japan went close through Takefusa Kubo and Keito Nakamura but neither could break the deadlock as the game progressed to the penalties where England proved to be better shooters and prevailed 5-3.