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Published 20 March 2024 4 min read
Men's U17

Report: England MU17s 5-1 Northern Ireland

Written by:

Lewis Royle

There was a winning start for Greg Lincoln's side as they kicked-off their U17 EURO elite round qualifiers

England men's under-17s began their European Championship qualification with a 5-1 victory over Northern Ireland at St George’s Park, with substitute Baylee Dipepa grabbing a brace.

Although dominating possession in the early stages, the home side conceded after just 18 minutes, as Callum Burnside found the back of the net for Northern Ireland.

But a clever finish from striker Divine Mukasa found the equaliser for England to make it 1-1 going into the interval.

The second half began a more even affair, before five minutes of magic for Greg Lincoln’s side saw Arsenal midfielder Ethan Nwaneri slot a left-footed finish in off the post, and a brace from substitute Dipepa of Port Vale put England ahead by three.

With just two minutes remaining, a goalkeeping error from a free-kick just outside the box meant Mukasa earnt himself his second of the day, and England’s fifth, as they made it a very convincing win against their rivals from over the sea.

It was a slow start from both sides, but it was the hosts who took control of possession from early on, with Harry Amass and Jesse Derry looking dangerous from the flanks, winning several corners and troubling the visitors, with a breakthrough looking imminent.
Young Lions captain Chris Rigg gets the ball down to play in the win over Northern Ireland
Young Lions captain Chris Rigg gets the ball down to play in the win over Northern Ireland
However, it was Northern Ireland who would strike first against the run of play. Senan Devine received a superb infield pass from captain Blaine McClure, before finding the feet of Burnside and his second effort found the back of the net via a deflection and diverted through the legs of keeper Spike Brits.

Despite the setback, England continued to pile on the pressure and just eleven minutes later they grabbed the equaliser. After a fantastic bit of play from Derry once again, the ball ricocheted off a green shirt and fell to Manchester City forward Mukasa, who finished calmly from just inside the 18-yard-box with the outside of his left boot to make it all square at the break.

Soon after half time, both sides had chances and looked bright but in the 63rd minute, captain Christopher Rigg, played an pass towards the edge of the Northern Ireland box, finding the left foot of Nwaneri, who made no mistake with a classy finish.

Three minutes later, right-back Leo Shahar delivered a sublime cross into the box to find substitute Dipepa, whose header looped over William Murdock between the sticks. Almost immediately after, Nwaneri’s driving run down the left flank ended with a perfect pass to the feet of Dipepa, who made it 4-1 with his second of the day.
England's starting line-up for their U17 EURO qualifier with Northern Ireland at St. George's Park
England's starting line-up for their U17 EURO qualifier with Northern Ireland at St. George's Park
Northern Ireland still looked dangerous going forward, but failed to really trouble Brits in goal before a mistake from Murdock summed things up for the away side, as Mukasa made it five for England.

The boys in white remain unbeaten against their opponents in EURO qualifying as this results takes it to four wins out of four as they look forward to their next encounter against Hungary on Saturday (3pm).

England: 1 Spike Brits (Man City) 2 Leo Shahar (Newcastle) 4 Joshua King (Fulham) 7 Jesse Derry (Crystal Palace) 8 Christopher Rigg (C) (Sunderland) 9 Luca Fletcher (Man City) 10 Ethan Nwaneri (Arsenal) 12 Jaden Dixon (Stoke) 16 Samuel Amissah (Fulham) 18 Harry Amass (Manchester United) 20 Divine Mukasa (Man City)

Substitutes: 3 Christian McFarlane (New York City) for Amass 58, 14 Baylee Dipepa (Port Vale) for Fletcher 58, 15 Jay Robinson (Southampton) for Nwaneri 72, 17 Ryan Mcaidoo (Chelsea) for Derry 72, 19 Ollie Harrison (Chelsea) for King 67.

Substitutes not used: 13 Oliver Whatmuff (Man City), 11 Trevan Sanusi (Newcastle).

Head Coach: Greg Lincoln