Skip to main content
Published 22 November 2023 4 min read
Men's U18

Report: England 1-2 Uzbekistan

Written by:

Frank Smith

Joel Ndala's first-half goal not enough as the Young Lions exit the FIFA U-17 World Cup

England exited the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the round of 16 stage after a 2-1 defeat to Uzbekistan.

The Young Lions dominated possession after going behind early on and equalised through Joel Ndala in the first half.

But then a free-kick from Lazizbek Mirzaev midway through the second period means it is Uzbekistan who progress to face either France or Senegal in the quarter-finals.

Uzbekistan took a surprise lead in the fourth minute when captain Mirzaev was put through on goal and although his initial low shot was saved, Amirbek Saidov was there to nod in the rebound despite the best efforts of Lakyle Samuel on the line.

England dominated possession as they searched for an equaliser but struggled to break down the opposition defence, with the closest they came inside the opening half an hour a long-range strike from Jayden Meghoma which was tipped over.

The leveller did arrive in the 36th minute though when 16-year-old Chris Rigg expertly slid the ball into the path of Ndala and the Manchester City forward stayed composed to find the bottom corner with a right-footed shot.

The Young Lions continued to dominate and Matty Warhurst had a shot from close range saved, after some more good work by Ndala out on the left, before the City forward then fired over from 18 yards out.

22 Nov 2023 2:20

Highlights: England MU18s 1-2 Uzbekistan

See the best of the action as the Young Lions exit the FIFA U17 World Cup

Joel Ndala pulled England level during the first half
Joel Ndala pulled England level during the first half

England remained on top in the second half but had to wait until the 63rd minute for their next chance of note, as Samuel Amo-Ameyaw cut inside from the right and had a powerful effort pushed away.

And Uzbekistan went ahead against the run of play once again midway through the second half when Mirzaev curled in a 20-yard free-kick.

England went agonisingly close to equalising with a quarter of an hour remaining when Ndala came inside from the left, shifted the ball to his right foot 18 yards out and curled a shot against the crossbar.

The Young Lions continued to search for a way back into the game but struggled to break down the resilient and organised Uzbekistan defence.

Justin Oboavwoduo and Tyler Dibling both had powerful long-range strikes parried away in the final ten minutes, Myles Lewis-Skelly headed over during injury-time and Ndala delivered a dangerous cross late on but England were unable to find the equaliser they needed.

England: 1 Tommy Setford (Ajax), 2 Josh Acheampong (Chelsea), 3 Jayden Meghoma (Southampton), 5 Lakyle Samuel (Manchester City) (c), 6 Ishé Samuels Smith (Chelsea), 10 Samuel Amo-Ameyaw (Southampton), 11 Joel Ndala (Manchester City), 14 Reiss-Alexander Russell-Denny (Chelsea), 16 Myles Lewis-Skelly (Arsenal), 18 Chris Rigg (Sunderland), 19 Matty Warhurst (Manchester City)

Substitutes: 4 Finley McAllister (Manchester United) for Russell-Denny 45, 20 Ethan Nwaneri (Arsenal) for Rigg 62, 9 Justin Oboavwoduo (Manchester City) for Warhurst 81, 7 Tyler Dibling (Southampton) for Amo-Ameyaw 81, 12 Harrison Murray-Campbell (Chelsea) for Samuels-Smith 86

Substitutes not used: 13 Ted Curd (Hashtag United, loan from Chelsea), 21 Finley Herrick (West Ham United), 8 Michael Golding (Chelsea), 15 Joe Johnson (Luton Town), 17 Archie Stevens (Glasgow Rangers)

Head coach: Ryan Garry

Goals: Joel Ndala 36

Bookings: Reiss-Alexander Russell-Denny 21, Ishé Samuels Smith 64, Jayden Meghoma 90+11

Free rewards for members