England Under-17s came from behind to secure an important 2-1 win over Iran during their World Cup clash on Tuesday afternoon. The victory means that Ryan Gerry’s side remain top of Group C, building on their recent 10-win over New Caledonia.
Joel Ndala was the hero at the Jakarta International Stadium, scoring a 90th minute winner to spare the blushes of his side. The Manchester City prospect showed experience beyond his years after being played through on goal, taking the ball around the onrushing Iran goalkeeper and managing to curl a fine strike into the top corner whilst being off-balance.
Despite being so impressive last week, England started off the match in first gear and struggled to compete with the physicality of Iran. Gerry’s side then found themselves behind in the 31st minute when midfielder Abolfazl Zamani Ahmadabad was left unmarked from a corner and converted from close-range, despite the best efforts of Ajax goalkeeper Tommy Setford.
The goal sparked the Three Lions into life and they finished the first-half on top, though failed to capitalise on their dominance. Following a rallying team talk from their manager, England emerged from the interval with a point to prove.
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After wasting several key chances early in the second half, Garry rolled the dice and brought off both Arsenal star Ethan Nwaneri and Sunderland prospect Chris Rigg, replacing the pair with Manchester City’s Justin Oboavwoduo and Chelsea talent Reiss-Alexander Russell-Denny.
Then latter made an instant impact for his side, scoring just four minutes after entering the fray. The midfielder played a neat one-two with City striker Matty Warhurst on the edge of the Iran box before firing a fierce strike past Asha Shakouri and into the back of the net.
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