Danny Loader featured from the bench for England’s Under-17s on Saturday, as the Young Lions ran out 4-1 winners against the USA to book a place in the World Cup semi-final!
On the 17th edition of the Under-17 World Cup, it is the first time that England have ever reached the semi-final stage… but the ambitions won’t end there. The Young Lions are two wins away from being crowned world champions!
And Reading youngster Loader featured in the closing stages of a comprehensive win for England, helping his side to set up a mouth-watering meeting with Brazil in the U17 World Cup semi-final in Guwahati on Wednesday.
Having needed penalties to find their way past Japan in the previous round, England made relatively light work of their quarter-final meeting with their American counterparts. Taking the lead through Rhian Brewster in the 11th minute, Steve Cooper’s side never looked back.
There was a touch of fortune when Brewster’s first went in, as a parried clearance by USA goalkeeper Justin Garces sat invitingly for the Liverpool forward to volley in. But his second, three minutes later, was a show of raw pace and ice-cold finishing to dart onto a threaded ball and lift over the stopper.
The USA had chances to reply – no better than through Josh Sargent, who beat the goalkeeper but not the crossbar when he met Andrew Carleton’s corner with a half-volley at the far post.
But soon after the hour-mark, England’s lead stretched to three as Brewster turned provider – a low cross from the right was met firmly by Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs White, which had too much power for the goalie to keep out.
Sargent gave the USA a lifeline by stabbing in after Curtis Anderson had initially done well to get a leg to a low shot – and Royals striker Loader was introduced for the closing stages in place of Callum Hudson-Odoi.
And there was still time for a game-sealing goal, as Brewster sealed his hat-trick – even in the dying embers of stoppage time, he had the energy to burst into the box and draw a cynical foul from Sergino Dest – who received a straight red card – and slotted in England’s fourth from 12 yards.
Now, Brazil await on Wednesday!
It’s an intriguing fixture at any age-level, between two of the game’s great historic nations. Three-time winners Brazil provide the next challenge at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati… the prize for the winner is a return to Kolkata to face either Spain or Mali in the final!