Report: Spain 1-4 England MU17s
This was the third MU17 game of this camp, after Greg Lincoln’s side narrowly lost 3-2 to Portugal and drew 1-1 with Morocco over the last week.
Manchester United’s Shea Lacey bagged a brace and there were also goals from Sunderland’s Chris Rigg and Chelsea striker Shumaira Mheuka at the Pinatar Arena.
Goals from Shea Lacey, Chris Rigg and Shumaira Mheuka help the Young Lions record an impressive win at the Pinatar Arena
Watch the Young Lions take on the hosts at the Oliva Nova Football Centre
England manufactured a great chance to open the scoring as early as the fourth minute against Spain, when Christian McFarlane got to the byline and picked out Finlay Cartwright but, his left-footed volley was expertly saved by the legs of Diego Diaz. Leke Drake then smashed the follow-up goalwards but it was blocked superbly a yard from his own line by Real Madrid defender Marco Rivas. It was an entertaining opening half an hour as both teams looked to move the ball quickly and unlock the opposition's defence, with Spike Brits needing to save low down to his right to deny Sergio Vinatea’s powerful strike from distance. But it was England who took the lead on 32 minutes when Fulham’s Joshua King won possession in the Spain half and fed Lacey, who controlled well in the penalty area and calmly slotted the ball home with his right foot, despite the best efforts of the recovering defender.
Spain would have responded immediately had it not been for another good save by Brits, who palmed away Vinatea’s shot which was heading for the top corner. The Young Lions then extended their advantage soon after when another good cross from McFarlane on the left was nodded in from close range by captain Rigg. The second half started similar to the first, as both teams looked to attack and it wasn’t long before Brits was called into action once again, this time saving Ousmane Diallo’s low shot.
But once again it was England who were the more clinical, as King grabbed another assist by slipping in Mheuka and he found the far corner with a low drive from inside the area. Lacey almost made it 4-0 before Spain pulled a goal back. It looked as though it would need to be something special to beat Brits on the night and that is just what Jose Antonio Reyes – son of the former Arsenal forward – delivered, as the Real Madrid youngster arrowed a long-range strike into the top corner. England were more ruthless than Spain on the night and in the final minutes made it 4-1 when Lacey was put in on the right-hand side of the box and he duly applied the finish for his second of the match.