Lions roar into quarters
© Foto-net

England were made to work hard for a 3-1 victory over Syria in a Round of 16 match in Jeju on Thursday 30 August.

The opening stages of the match were fairly even, with centre forwards Rhys Murphy and Mohammad Abadi both having half-chances. It wasn't until the 17th minute of the match until the deadlock was broken and that came from the penalty spot. Referee Hernando Buitrago saw that a flailing Syrian arm had made contact with Nathan Porritt's left wing corner and Henri Lansbury duly despatched the ball from 12 yards.

Syria came back strongly and saw a hat trick of Oday Al Jafal free-kicks go close. Indeed, with the west Asians looking more likely to score the equaliser, England doubled their advantage. Once again, another Porritt cross caused problems for Mohamad Aljomaa's side, the ball fell to centre half Krystian Pearce, who showed all the composure of a striker, taking two touches before hitting a low shot into the net.

The 2-0 lead somewhat flattered England, but within six minutes of the restart, Syria had pulled one back. Ziad Ajouz right footed shot from the edge of the box left Alex Smithies stranded and the game was very much alive. However, with the Syrians pouring forward at every opportunity, gaps were left at the back, which England exploited in the 62nd minute when Lansbury's low cross found Murphy inside the box and he poked the ball past Ahmad Madnia.

Syria, who never gave up, had three golden opportunities late in the game to put more pressure on England, but profligate finishing and some superb goalkeeping from Smithies kept the Three Lions two goals ahead. John Peacock's side now meet Germany in the quarter-finals.