England lose to Brazil but still win group

England’s Under-17 team suffered a 2-1 defeat to their Brazilian counterparts in their final first round match at the FIFA U17 World Cup in Indonesia. However, the result was sufficient to see them hold onto top spot in Group C and progress to the knockout stages as group winners.

Brazil took the lead shortly before half time at the 82,000 capacity Jakarta International Stadium. The ball broke free to Kaua Elias inside the England box and the forward lashed home past a helpless Tommy Setford in the England goal.

The crowd of 15,171 was the largest of the tournament so far for a game not involving the hosts, and they witnessed Brazil doubling their advantage in the 54th minute through defender Mata Da.

A two goal lead meant that Brazil had leapfrogged England at the top of the group on goal difference. The Young Lions needed to find a response and they did so when Manchester City’s Joel Ndala scored from the penalty spot in the 71st minute.

Small margins separate the top three

Thereafter, the score remained the same and Iran’s 5-0 win over the hapless New Caledonians in the other Group C fixture meant that England, Brazil and Iran all finished level on six points.

Goal difference was the tie breaker and England’s +10 was one better than Brazil’s and five clear of Iran. However, all three teams will go through to the Round of Sixteen as Iran are one of the best third placed sides.

Ryan Garry’s England U17 team had looked impressive in beating New Caledonia 10-0 and Iran 2-1 in their opening matches, so this result is only a minor setback. Winning the group means that they will remain in Jakarta and will face the third placed team from Group A or B in the next round. That means either the hosts, Indonesia, or Uzbekistan.

From a Manchester United perspective, defensive midfielder Finley McAllister is the only club representative in this England squad. He came off the bench with half an hour remaining in the opening game against New Caledonia and scored the tenth goal in stoppage time.

He didn’t feature in the match against Iran but he was in the starting line up versus Brazil and was replaced by Arsenal’s Myles Lewis-Skelly just after the hour mark.