German juggernaut rolls on
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Germany kept up their fine form at these FIFA U-17 finals with a 3-2 win to send England crashing out in Morelia. Impressive striker Samed Yesil scored a pair of goals on the day as the junior nationalmannschaft now move on to play either Mexico or France in the semi-finals.

The English had the first chance to score after only five minutes, But Hallam Hope’s snapshot from the edge of the box was well saved by Odisseas Vlachodimos and proved a false dawn. The young Three Lions soon began to wilt in the Morelia heat and the Germans – so dominant in their previous matches – took control.

They got their first goal after only seven minutes when a route-one ball from midfield flew up and over England’s captain and centre-back Nathaniel Chalobah and was collected well by the speedy Yesil. The Bayer Leverkusen striker collided with onrushing England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, but the ball bounced kindly and he finished simply into an open goal. Hope and Raheem Sterling both fired shots in retaliation up the other end, but they failed to truly test Vlachodimos.

The Germans were hitting their ferocious stride and Yesil turned brilliantly in the 20th minute at the edge of the box, firing against the post. Four minutes later, though, they got the goal their smashing play deserved. Kaan Ayhan deflected Marvin Quaschner’s shot home from the edge of the area after Pickford’s punch from a corner-kick lacked conviction or power.

England again came out with enthusiasm from the locker-room as they did at the start of the game, but Chalobah’s impressive flying overhead kick was well saved by Vlachodimos and Hope’s header just seconds after went up and over the bar. Their opponents were not so profligate with their finishing, however, and Yesil made the English pay when he tapped in Mitchell Weiser’s low ball after the defender tore up the right flank on a lightning-quick counter-attack.

To their credit, England fought back manfully and did their level best to get back into the game. They reduced the deficit to 3-1 in the 67th minute when Samuel Magri stepped up to hit home from the spot after Nico Perrey fouled Nick Powell in the area. They were not done yet, either, and with the Germans unable to kill off the game with a fourth goal, Hope made it 3-2 in the 83rd minute.

It was all that John Peacock’s youngsters could not muster, though, and they tumble out of the competition in the quarter-final stage with their heads held high. The Germans, who have scored 18 goals in their five games so far in Mexico, now move on to play hosts Mexico in their semi-final on 7 July in Torreon.