England U17s out of Women’s World Cup with defeat to Japan
- Credit: SPORTSFILE
England’s hopes of reaching the U17 Women’s World Cup semi-finals came to a shuddering end with a 3-0 defeat to Japan.
Harpenden’s Anna Patten played another 90 minutes for the young lionesses but found the current holders of the competition too tough to crack.
That said they gave a good account of themselves and only a hammer blow right on the stroke of half-time stopped them from pushing their Asian rivals further.
Japan had took the lead after just three minutes when Jun Endo poked ina rebound from close range.
But after weathering the early storm England were on top when the Japanese got their second in first-half injury time.
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Riko Ueki got it, springing the offside trap and slamming the bar high beyond Ellie Roebuck.
England never recovered although both Alessia Russo and Ellie Brazil both went close to pulling back.
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In the end though it was Japan who scored last 10 minutes from time with Ueki again the scorer.
They will now face Spain in a repeat of the final of two years ago.
England coach John Griffiths was full of praise for his team.
He said: “In the run-up to this tournament, we played 16 matches and lost only two, to Germany, the European champions, and to Japan, the world champions.
“We’re heading home having learned some valuable lessons. Gaining experience is just the first step for this generation of players.
“I’m proud of them, because they went about their business in a very mature manner. I’m convinced they’re going to make great progress in the future.”