LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2013) – The England and Portugal U-17 National Teams let loose the offensive fireworks in their final game of the 2013 Nike International Friendlies as the Young Lions rebounded from two defeats to secure their first win of the tournament 4-3 against Portugal.
England (1-2-0; 3 points) twice trailed by a single goal but fought back to eventually take a 4-2 lead in the second half thanks to three goals in a 20-minute spell. England striker Kaylen Hinds and midfielder Christopher Willock combined to score the team’s final two goals after Adam Phillips and William Patching had twice brought England back into the match.
Portugal (1-1-1; 4 points), which could have potentially claimed the tournament crown with a win, received a pair of goals from Idrisa Sambu and one from Jonatas Centeno.
It didn’t take long for the goals to start flying in as Portugal seized the upper hand in just the ninth minute. Sambu was brought down as he raced into the England penalty area and stepped up to convert the ensuing penalty kick, striking the ball into the left-hand side of the goal with England goalkeeper Connor King diving the other way.
England carried the play after going behind but could not trouble the Portugal defense except for a speculative 20-yard shot by Hinds that rolled narrowly wide at the 30-minute mark.
England’s breakthrough came four minutes before the half when Hinds ran onto a long through ball and poked it into the stomach of onrushing Portugal goalkeeper Tiago Martins, who was unable to control the rebound. With the Portugal defense scrambling to get back, Hinds corralled the loose ball and found Phillips at the top of Portugal’s box where the England man lifted a well-placed shot into the empty net, knotting the match at 1-1.
Before the half was out, Portugal twice went close to scoring on a free kick that deflected off the England wall and rolled wide as well as a looping header by Pedro Ferreira that just skirted the right upper 90.
Similarly to the first half, Portugal drew first blood when the second opened. A low cross whipped in by Generoso Correia from the left flank bounced through the England area before being hooked home on a one-time shot by Centeno into the upper left corner for a 2-1 Portugal lead.
England nearly tied the game on its next possession as Cameron Humphreys’ headed chance was cleared off the line by Ferreira. The chance was a harbinger of what was to come as the Young Lions scored the next three goals of the match.
In the 53rd minute Patching was brought down just outside the right-hand side of the Portugal penalty area. With Martins focused on organizing his defense, Patching curled his shot from near the end line over the goalkeeper’s head and into the far side netting to tie the score at 2-2.
Fifteen minutes later, England took the lead on a great bit of play initiated by Willock, who received a hard pass with a defender on his back before turning and sprinting toward the Portugal goal. As the defense converged, Willock sent Hinds in on goal and the England striker caught up to his heavy first touch to poke the ball home.
With Portugal stunned, the Young Lions poured in the eventual game winning goal in the 73rd minute. A long ball played in by Reece Oxford bounced off the Portugal defense. Hinds collected it and played short to Willock, who lofted a beautiful shot from 25 yards over Martins into the upper right corner.
Portugal responded quickly with a spell of possession that led to Joao Simoes whipping in a cross from near the end line that an unimpeded Sambu headed home with ease in the 76th minute.
That was all Portugal could manage however, as England took the starch out of the game with smart ball control over the final 10 minutes to secure the victory.
-Under-17 National Team Match Report-
England U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Portugal U-17 Men’s National Team
Date: Dec. 13, 2013
Competition: 2013 Nike International Friendlies
Venue: Premier Sports Campus; Lakewood Ranch, Fla.
Kickoff: 2 p.m. ET
Weather: 77 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
ENG 1 3 4
POR 1 2 3
POR – Idrisa Sambu (penalty kick) 9th minute
ENG – Adam Phillips (Kaylen Hinds) 41
POR – Jonatas Centeno (Generoso Correia) 48
ENG – William Patching 53
ENG – Kaylen Hinds (Christopher Willock) 68
ENG – Christopher Willock (Kaylen Hinds) 73
POR – Idrisa Sambu (Joao Simoes) 76
ENG: 21-Connor King; 2-Trent Arnold (8-Foday Nabay, 57), 3-Jay DaSilva (capt.), 6-Cameron Humphreys, 7-Charlie Wakefield (10-Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, 46), 9-Kaylen Hinds, 11-Christopher Willock (18-Layton N’Dukwu, 82), 14-William Patching (5-Ro-Shaun Williams, 90), 15-Reece Oxford, 16-Adam Phillips, 19-Marcus Edwards (4-Callum Gribbin, 36)
Subs not used: 1-Alfie Whiteman, 12-Daniel Collinge, 13-Ryan Sandford,
Not available: Ben Sheaf
Head Coach: Kenny Swain
12-Tiago Martins; 2-Joao Simoes, 3-Bruno Paz, 4-Goncalo Vieira, 5-Ricardo Mangas, 6-Pedro Ferreira (15-Jorge Pereira, 65), 10-Moreto Cassama (capt.)
(8-Madiu Bari, 46), 11-Ricardo Araujo (7-Generoso Correia, 46), 16-Bruno Lourenco (9-Rui Sousa, 58), 17-Jonatas Centeno (14-Bruno Pereira, 72), 18-Idrisa
Subs not used: 1-Rabio Duarte, 13-Rafael Duarte
Head Coach: Filipe Ramos
Stats Summary: POR / ENG
Shots: 14 / 18
Shots on Goal: 3 / 7
Saves: 3 / 0
Corner Kicks: 5 / 2
Fouls: 16 / 5
Offside: 1 / 2
POR – Pedro Ferreira (caution) 38th minute
ENG – Adam Philips (caution) 62
POR – Jorge Pereira (caution) 78
Referee: Caleb Mendez
Assistant Referee 1: Danny Thornberry
Assistant Referee 2: Deleana Quan
Fourth Official: Kristen Salazar