Football

Imperial England brooks no challenge

No stopping him: England’s Rhian Brewster scores the second of his three goals against USA.

No stopping him: England’s Rhian Brewster scores the second of his three goals against USA.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR;K_MURALI_KUMAR -

Brewster scores a hat-trick; USA’s performance littered with countless errors

There was no disgrace for USA in being outmanoeuvred by an opponent this slick.

At the Nehru Stadium here on Saturday, England produced yet another breath-taking attacking display, dismantling USA 4-1 to enter the semifinals of the Under-17 World Cup.

This is England’s maiden entry into the last four at this level.

Rhian Brewster fired in a hat-trick, while Morgan Gibbs-White scored off a spectacular volley.

As expected, England coach Steve Cooper deployed a 4-2-3-1, asking his wingers to stay close to the touchline.

USA coach John Hackworth set out a 4-3-3 with Andrew Carleton orchestrating the midfield.

England controlled the initial minutes through the midfield unit of Gibbs-White, Phillip Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Foden — stationed on the right of a three-man midfield — was a constant outlet and created the opening two goals. He weaved past two defenders and took a shot, but Justin Garces made a diving save. Brewster, lurking in the box, stabbed in the rebound to give England the lead in the 11th minute.

Three minutes later, England added another. A slick counterattack was emphatically finished off by Brewster after being put through with a defence-splitting pass by Foden.

USA struggled to formulate a response and its performance was littered with countless errors, while England wasted numerous chances to inflict further humiliation.

Brewster missed an easy chance, hitting the post, while left-winger Callum Hudson-Odoi harassed the left-back with his trickery and moved into the box only to hit straight to the ’keeper.

USA had its moments when Ayo Akinola, Carleton and Taylor Booth tested England goalkeeper Curtis Anderson, but the Manchester City youngster thwarted all danger.

Hat-trick hero of the last game Weah was kept silent by England captain Joel Latibeaudiere. USA was lucky to go into half-time without any further incident.

Hackworth’s second half began as badly as his first, with whatever he had said to his players in the dressing room rendered irrelevant by Gibbs-White’s volley in the 64th minute. Brewster turned provider for the third with an enticing cross.

The Americans were pinned back by the energetic England midfield and when they did break out they did not keep the ball long enough to build up any sustained pressure.

But they managed to penetrate the English defence in the 67th minute when the right-winger managed to roll a cross right across the face of an unprotected goal but no one was available to tap it in.

The Americans badly needed to gain a foothold in the game, and they did so in the 72nd minute. Skipper Josh Sargent stabbed the ball after getting a cross from the right.

The Americans besieged the home box in the final moments only to find the defenders in commanding form.

In the dying moments, Brewster completed his hat-trick when Sergino Dest made a rash tackle and was sent off.

The result: England 4 (Brewster 11, 14 & 90+5; Gibbs-White 64) bt USA 1 (Sargent 72).

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 6:29:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/imperial-england-brooks-no-challenge/article19899228.ece

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