England's third goal against Syria was made in Arsenal. Henri Lansbury's lung-bursting run down the right channel culminated with a dangerous low cross into the box. The grateful recipient was club and international team-mate Rhys Murphy whose outstretched leg diverted the ball past the keeper and into the net. After Lansbury had caught up with Murphy, who wheeled away in celebration after the goal, the pair made a point of congratulating each other. The score was 3-1 and it virtually assured England a place in the quarter finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
"I hadn't scored before the game, so it was nice to get off the mark," smiled Murphy when recalling his strike to FIFA.com. "I think the goal came at an important time as it killed the game off and gave us a bit of breathing space. To be honest, scoring is what I am all about. It's great to wear the No9 shirt for England and it's something that means a lot to me. Although I know that a striker's game is about working hard for the team, there's nothing quite like it when you see the ball hit the back of the net."
Midfielder Lansbury, the more reserved of the pair, was delighted to see his good friend hit the target. "It's exciting to play with Rhys," he smiled. You don't know quite what to expect from him when he's got the ball, but you know that the final outcome is going to be good. I'm pleased that he scored tonight, as that's going to give him a great deal of confidence. When we play for Arsenal we combine really well together and it's great to be able to do that for England. It's funny, Rhys makes some runs and I know instinctively where he's going to be."
The young Gunners will need their telepathic tendencies at their peak when England meet Germany for a place in the semi-finals. Yet, it's a game which holds no fear for England or Lansbury and Murphy. "It will be great to go back to Goyang where we beat Brazil," said the former. "It's a lovely stadium with an absolutely fantastic pitch. Without getting complacent, we're confident of a result and going all the way. We'll respect Germany, but we know that we can beat them."
Murphy agrees. "We're ready for them. It's always a big game, but we thrive on big games, as we showed against Brazil and we want to show them what we can do. We're a strong group of lads and we have a great team-spirit. You can't underestimate qualities like that in a tournament such as this one. We know we can go all the way. The squad has got better and better over the tournament and we'll show that in this game."
Germany, you have been warned.