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England beat Brazil to reach Under-17 World Cup final – report & highlights

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Highlights: Brazil 1-3 England

A hat-trick from Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster sent England into Saturday’s Under-17 World Cup final with a 3-1 win over Brazil.

Steve Cooper’s side weathered Kolkata’s 29C heat and humidity, plus sustained pressure from their opponents.

Brewster took his chances well and was assisted by the impressive Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden.

England will face Spain – who beat Mali 3-1 in Wednesday’s other semi-final, with Abel Ruiz scoring twice.

The Young Lions will look to match their Under-20 counterparts, who won their World Cup in June.

It took only 10 minutes for Brewster to get his first, meeting an inch-perfect delivery from Chelsea’s 16-year-old midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi and finishing at the second attempt.

Flamengo defender Wesley capped a dominant response from Brazil with the equaliser after 21 minutes, and striker Brenner rolled wide a great chance to put them ahead 15 minutes before the break.

But Brewster’s second, taking him top of the tournament’s goalscoring chart, sent England in 2-1 up at half-time.

The 17-year-old completed his hat-trick in the 76th minute after a pin-point low cross from Emile Smith Rowe and England kept their cool to withstand Brazil’s late rally.

“I really believe in our players and I think whoever we play against we can be a match and be better than the opposition,” said England head coach Cooper. “But we have to work hard for that. We’ll never change our style. We believe in it.

“There isn’t a bigger game they can play in their career at their age than a World Cup knockout game. And obviously they are going to go and play the ultimate game – the final.”

Brewster earns the plaudits

Liverpool striker Brewster is the man in form.

A hat-trick in a 4-1 quarter-final victory over the USA, followed by another in Wednesday’s semi-final, made the 17-year-old the competition’s top scorer.

His prolific form follows in the footsteps of Kelechi Iheanacho, now at Leicester City, who won player of the tournament at the 2013 Under-17s World Cup and narrowly missed out on the golden boot.

Iheanacho joined the Foxes from Manchester City for £25m this summer, but Liverpool will be unlikely to entertain the prospect of Brewster going anywhere – except Jurgen Klopp’s first-team.

Brewster's goals earned rave reviews from another former England poacher<!–

Brewster’s goals earned rave reviews from another former England poacher

After being promoted from Liverpool’s Under-18s into the Under-23s this season, the Londoner – who joined from Chelsea aged 15 – scored a hat-trick for the first team in a friendly behind closed doors against Accrington Stanley.

He also scored and made two assists for the club’s Under-23s against Leicester before earning his England call-up.

Klopp called the teenager a “natural striker”, while his displays have also impressed Cooper.

“It needs a special mention. He deserves it,” said Cooper.

“It’s not just about Rhian’s goals, it’s about the effort he puts in for the team. We want to press and that starts with your number nine.

“None of us are after individual glory. It’s all about playing for your country and doing it together.”

‘Special’ Foden is catching Guardiola’s eye

Philip Foden<!–

Phil Foden travelled to the USA with Manchester City in pre-season

Brewster will rightly grab the headlines with his second successive hat-trick, but it was Manchester City winger Foden who shone in the semi-final.

The 17-year-old already has an admirer in City boss Pep Guardiola, who called Foden a “gift” after he impressed on the club’s pre-season tour of the USA.

“It’s a long time since I saw something like this,” said Guardiola. “He’s special.”

Foden looked assured on the ball, completing a mature performance with skill and technique usually associated with England’s South American opponents in the semi-final.

“His balance, his ability to go either right or left is absolutely brilliant to see in a young player,” former England winger Trevor Sinclair told BBC Sport.

It was the Stockport-born wide man who started the move that allowed Brewster to put the game beyond Brazil with his third, showing the composure that has caught Guardiola’s eye.

Young Lions cope with the heat

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Young England players need opportunities at clubs – Sinclair

This semi-final was meant to take place at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, but heavy rainfall saw it moved 650 miles to Kolkata.

There the problem was not the rain but the heat and humidity, as both sets of players at times looked exhausted at the Salt Lake Stadium with temperatures reaching 29C.

It was a popular move, with Fifa – who looked to combat the heat with cooling breaks where players could drink water – saying more than one million fans attempted to buy tickets online.

Saturday’s final also takes place at the 66,000-seater Salt Lake Stadium, when England’s youngsters may have to contend with temperatures tipping into the early 30s.

England without Dortmund star Sancho

Jadon Sancho<!–

Jadon Sancho signed for Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City in August

England Under-17s have had to progress in the knockout stages without midfielder Jadon Sancho, arguably their star player, as he was recalled by Borussia Dortmund after the group phase.

The 17-year-old scored three times as Cooper’s side advanced to the last 16 with a 100% record.

But Dortmund, who signed him for around £10m from Manchester City in August, were reluctant to release the youngster for the World Cup and only did so after protracted negotiations.

Having been recalled, the midfielder made his senior Dortmund debut in the 2-2 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt last week.

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