England produced an incredible comeback to win the Under-17 World Cup final with a 5-2 victory over Spain in Kolkata.
Steve Cooper’s side had lost on penalties to the same opponents in this summer’s European Championship final but despite falling two goals behind during the first half in India, they gained revenge in sensational style through goals from Rhian Brewster, Morgan Gibbs-White, Marc Guehi and a Phil Foden double.
The triumph caps a remarkable year for England’s youth sides, which has seen the U19s win the European Championships and the U20s win the World Cup and Toulon Tournament.
England started strongly, with Gibbs-White testing Alvaro Fernandez inside a minute from close range. But it was Spain who opened the scoring on 10 minutes, when Sergio Gomez pounced on a loose ball and slotted in after England failed to deal with a Juan Miranda cross.
Spain should have been two clear on 21 minutes, when a counter-attack saw Moha clean through on goal, but a heavy touch from the surging midfielder allowed goalkeeper Curtis Anderson to dive at his feet.
Moments later England’s Steven Sessegnon lashed a shot across goal before Gomez doubled Spain’s advantage on 31 minutes, capitalising on neat work in the box from Cesar Gelabert to fire a left-footed shot into the corner.
England responded immediately, though, with Callum Hudson-Odoi lashing a right-footed shot against the far post before Brewster pulled one back, heading in unmarked from Sessegnon’s perfectly-placed cross for his eighth of the competition on 44 minutes.
England took that momentum into the second half and were back level on 58 minutes when Gibbs-White found space in the box and thundered Sessegnon’s cutback into the net.
Incredibly, 11 minutes later, they completed the comeback, with Foden tucking in at the back post after a burst of pace sent Hudson-Odoi clear down the left flank.
Sessegnon – so impressive going forwards – was then alert to clear off the line from a Victor Chust header before England pulled clear, with Marc Guehi converting from close range from a free-kick on 84 minutes and Foden grabbing his second with an 88th-minute counter-attack.