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Published 18 May 2023 4 min read
Men's U17

Report: Croatia 0-1 England MU17s

Written by:

Nicholas Veevers

Our England men's under-17s began their EURO campaign in Hungary on Thursday with a group stage game against Croatia

England got their U17 EURO campaign off to a winning start on Thursday evening, after a hard-fought victory against Croatia.

Ryan Garry’s Young Lions picked up the points in their group stage after leading for much of the game following Ethan Nwaneri’s early goal.

And they were good value for their victory, enjoying the better of the possession and chances until Croatia applied some pressure later in the game.

It was a dream start to the game for Garry’s team though, as they took the lead in the eighth minute after Tyler Dibling’s superb angled cross from the right picked out Nwaneri in the box with the Arsenal youngster finishing emphatically from close range.

While clear chances were scarce, the Young Lions certainly enjoyed the better of the first-half proceedings and had a great chance to double their lead five minutes before the break.

It came when Myles Lewis-Skelly burst forward from midfield into the box, only to be felled by tracking Croatian midfielder Sergej Levak at the expense of a penalty.
Myles Lewis-Skelly in the heat of the battle against Croatia
Myles Lewis-Skelly in the heat of the battle against Croatia
19 May 2023 2:35

Highlights: England MU17s 1-0 Croatia

See the best of the action as the Young Lions get an opening game win in Hungary

Michael Golding stepped up to take the spot-kick, but keeper Jan Hlapcic went the right way to get a hand to his shot and turn it around the post at a crucial time before the break.

It was a more open affair in the second half too and both goalkeepers were called into action within the first ten minutes of the restart, with Dibling seeing his free-kick from the edge of the area well saved by Hlapcic after Golding had been fouled.

Substitute Archie Gray then saw a low left-footer well blocked in the area before Lewis-Skelly danced inbetween two players into the box only to see his shot saved.

But with such a slender advantage, Croatia began to press in search of an equaliser as the clock advanced and Robert Jarni’s team began to enjoy their best spell of the game in the last ten minutes.

With two minutes to play they were denied by the woodwork, after substitute Leo Rimac collected a quickly-taken throw-in from the left before cutting inside and curling a shot over Tommy Setford and towards the top corner. There wasn’t quite enough dip on the shot though, and it bounced back off the bar to the relief of England.

But their best chance came in the last minute of stoppage time when Filip Zivkovic raced through clear on goal only to scuff his low shot well wide of the post.

England are back in action in their second group match on Sunday evening when they face the Netherlands (7pm BST), with that game being shown live on UEFA.TV and also the BBC iPlayer and red button service in the UK

England: 1 Tommy Setford (Ajax), 2 Josh Acheampong (Chelsea), 3 Somto Boniface (Chelsea), 4 Myles Lewis-Skelly (Arsenal), 5 Lakyle Samuel (Manchester City) (c), 6 Ishé Samuels-Smith (Everton), 9 Leon Chiwome (Wolverhampton Wanderers), 10 Michael Golding (Chelsea), 11 Ethan Nwaneri (Arsenal), 14 Isaiah Dada-Mascoll (Manchester City), 17 Tyler Dibling (Southampton)

Substitutes: 19 Zakariya Lovelace (Glasgow Rangers) for Chowome 60, 8 Archie Gray (Leeds United) for Dada Mascoll 60, 20 Kadan Young (Aston Villa) for Nwaneri 61, 18 Kiano Dyer (Chelsea) for Golding 82, 15 Mofe Jemide (Crystal Palace) for Boniface 90

Substitutes not used: 7 Justin Oboavwoduo (Manchester City), 12 Jayden Meghoma (Southampton), 13 Ted Curd (Chelsea), 16 Finley McAllister (Manchester United)

Head coach: Ryan Garry

Goals: Ethan Nwaneri 8