France under-17's 0-2 England under-17's: English double deals blow to French progression

A ten-man French side's exit from the Under-17 European Championship was all but sealed with a 2-0 defeat to England.

France under-17's 0-2 England under-17's: English double deals blow to French progression
Above: Ben Morris celebrates with Ryan Sessengnon in France's 2-0 defeat to England | Photo: uefa.com
FRANCE U17's
0 2
ENGLAND U17's
FRANCE U17's: POUSSIN, SARR, KAMARA, ZAGADOU, NGUIAMBA, EL MOKKEDEM (DESPRES, MIN. 43), CUISANCE, KARRAOUI (FORTUNE, MIN. 46), GUITANE, BERNEDE (TAHA, MIN. 56), FARGEAS
ENGLAND U17's: THOMPSON, STERLING, MCGUANE, CHALOBAH, ADENIRAN, MORRIS (HIRST, MIN. 65), DOZZELL, MOUNT (SASHOUA, MIN. 79), NELSON (BOHUI, MIN. 74), SESSEGNON, FEENEY
SCORE: 0-1, MIN. 15, MORRIS 0-2, MIN. 43, NELSON
REFEREE: FRAN JOVIC BOOKED STERLING (MIN. 28) ZAGADOU (MIN. 51) SENT OFF POUSSIN (MIN. 41)

France's exit from the European under-17 championship tournament was all but sealed after their 2-0 defeat to England

France started the brightest with Rafik Guitane clattering the crossbar in the opening ten minutes before Ben Morris opened the scoring for the Three Lions after 15 minutes. Guitane and Hakim El Mokkedem had good chances as the half went on but failed to equalise. 

It got worse for the French with goalkeeper Gaëtan Poussin been dismissed a minute after the restart with Reiss Nelson firing home the penalty.Yassin Fortune, Mickaël Cuisance, Marcus McGuane and Ryan Sessegnon had good opportunities but France failed to get back into the game. 

From the off 

Both sides were in desperate need of points if they were to extend their stay in the championships and it was Bernard Diomede's side who had the bit between their teeth striking first. 

Guitaine had proven a threat in the goalless draw with Denmark at the weekend and was at it again as he struck one from just outside the area which looked to have beaten Jared Thompson but it clattered off the crossbar and the Chelsea stopper did well to block Antoine Bernede's follow-up. 

They were made to regret their opportunity when Steve Cooper's side managed to take the lead after 15 minutes. It proved to a simple move from the throw-in as Mason Mount's brilliant backheel sent Andre Dozzell through on the by-line and he did well with his ball across goal to find his Ipswich Town teammate Morris who had a simple tap-in. 

Far-reaching opportunities

France looked for a way back into the game and dominated the majority of possession but were reduced to half-chances from distance by a stubborn English defence. 

Mokkedem had the best chance in the remainder of the half in the 27th minute when a wayward ball managed to make it through to the youngster and despite pressure he managed to get his shot off but it went just wide of the top corner. 

The next best opportunity came right at the death as it was Mickaël Cuisance took his turn to fire from distance but a deflection from McGuane took it into Thompson's side-netting. 

Above; England under-17 coach Steve Cooper watches on as his side defeat current European under-17 championship holders France 2-0 | Photo: uefa.com
Above; England under-17 coach Steve Cooper watches on as his side defeat current European under-17 championship holders France 2-0 | Photo: uefa.com

Bad to worse 

Any French plans for the second period were instantly thrown out the window when they were reduced to ten just a minute after the restart. 

A great ball over-the-top from Dozell found Nelson who managed to chip Poussin before been taking out and once the young keeper returned to his feet, referee Fran Jovic gave him his marching orders. 

Substitute stopper Didier Desprez instantly faced a tough task with Nelson standing over the spot-kick and he made no mistake as he just managed to squeeze it past Desprez to double England's lead. 

The French thought they found a way back into the game when substitute Fortune fired home spectacularly but the flag was raised for Dan-Axel Zagadou's impediment of Thompson. 

Fortune was a bright spark and had a great chance to get one back before the hour mark when Malang Sarr fizzed a ball into the area and that caught out the replacement as he headed wide. 

It was then the turn of Cuisance to try something different to get his country back into the match and the competition as he looked to curl one in from the wing but it was easy enough for Thompson to tip over. 

Deadly touch 

As the game entered it's final ten minutes, Cooper's side looked to end any hope for their opponents and had two great opportunities to put the final nail in the coffin. 

McGuane was up first as he was teed up on the edge of the area by Dozzell and had time to set himself but the strike was always rising over Desprez's crossbar. 

Sessegnon followed that up as he was put through on the left-hand side but he held onto the ball for too long and in the end it was easy for Desprez to turn the effort behind.