September 23, 2021, 4:10

England U17 talking points: Rhian Brewster, Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi impress in semi-final

England U17 talking points: Rhian Brewster, Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi impress in semi-final

England Under-17s booked their place in the World Cup final with a 3-1 victory over Brazil in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster was the match-winner, scoring a hat-trick to set up a meeting with Spain on Saturday.

Along with Brewster’s performance, we look at the talking points from the semi-final win…

Brewster decisive again

Ten shots, seven goals. Brewster has been in the right place at the right time at the World Cup and was again clinical when chances presented themselves against Brazil.

The 17-year-old, who is yet to make a first-team appearance for Liverpool, linked up play well around the box and again made the most of his opportunities, having also netted a hat-trick against USA in the quarter-finals.

If he continues at this rate it would not be a surprise to see him make his Reds bow before the season finishes.

Foden proves pivotal

While Brewster was the finisher against Brazil, he was helped by several impressive performances around him.

Manchester City’s Phil Foden was arguably the most impressive, looking composed in possession and creating openings with clever passes in and around the box. He also started the move for the third goal, spinning away from a challenge, escaping another and then slipping it out for Emile Smith-Rowe to cross for Brewster to score.

“It’s a long time since I saw something like this. He’s special,” was Man City boss Pep Guardiola’s assessment of Foden after his first-team debut in July.

Foden has been with City since the age of nine and his displays in India will only fuel fans’ hope that they could be seeing more of him soon.

Hudson-Odoi catches the eye

Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi put in a performance beyond his 16 years playing on the left of an attacking three behind Brewster.

He looked accomplished on the ball and set up the first goal with a perfectly-weighted chipped pass over the defence. In the second half, he drifted over to the right and set up another good chance for Brewster that could have been finished.

He was one of four Chelsea players to start the game along with Marc Guehi, Jon Panzo and George McEachran. How many of them will break into the first team will be worth keeping an eye on, but Hudson-Odoi looks, for now, to have a very bright future.

England keep Brazil quiet

From the first whistle, it seemed apparent that the game was not going to finish goalless, with both sides creating chances and finding spaces behind. Full-back Wesley, in particular, looked threatening for Brazil as he continued to push forward down the right side.

However, after 35 minutes England started to find a better shape in defence and gave Brazil less space to run into. There were still chances in the second half but they were few and far between as England managed to get to grips with the Brazilian threat.

Spain await in final

England and Spain do battle again in a major final on Saturday. They met in the finals of the U17 European Championship in 2007 and earlier in this year in Croatia.

On both occasions, it was Spain who came out on top, with a goal deep into injury-time securing a 2-2 draw this summer before they won 4-1 on penalties.

Manager Steve Cooper said afterwards: “Although it doesn’t feel it now this experience will be a good one when we get over it and we can do a little bit better in future tournaments.”

England will be hoping they can use their summer disappointment to finally get the better of Spain.


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