Mumbai: Rhian Brewster struck twice as England U-17 side rallied to beat their New Zealand counterparts 3-2 in a practice game at the Mumbai Football Areana here today.
England were trailing 1-2 till Brewster scored back-to-back goals within a span of two minutes to seal the game in his side’s favour.
New Zealand, outclassed by Brazil in their first practice game, suffered their second defeat in a row and it surely was not an ideal preparation for them ahead of their opening FIFA U-17 World Cup match against Turkey on October 6.
Brewster, who is part of the Liverpool age group sides, was assisted by Phil Foden when he netted his first goal. On the second occasion, it was his brilliant header that did the trick.
Off a cross from Nya Kirby, Brewster deflected the ball off a header from close to the goalpost into the net to make it 3-2 in his side’s favour.
In the initial stages, the Kiwis were the aggressive side. England U-17 missed a couple of chances, including a free kick. After the free kick, it was from a counter attack that New Zealand scored the first goal of the encounter.
It was Kiwi Oliver Whyte who netted the ball. On a counter attack, White got a pass from Willem Ebbinge and went solo. He stuck from quite a distance but that shot landed into the right corner of the goal with the English goalkeeper getting foxed.
Minutes later, England equalised when their captain Marc Guehi netted the ball. Callum Hudson Odoi took a corner, which rebounded for the skipper to send it to the left corner of the goal.
The Kiwi goal-scorer was involved in a collision with English goalie Josef Bursik and went off the field following an injury.
England wasted another free kick, this time Odoi shooting over. The Kiwi custodian did not allow England to take the lead, as he saved a straight shot from Odoi, who ran in quite a bit and struck.
At the half way mark, the two sides were levelled at 1-1.
England made quite a few changes in the second half. They got a free kick, taken by Angel Gomes, but it landed into Kiwi goalie’s hand.
New Zealand’s Kiwi Elijah Just took advantage of a blunder by Emile Smith Rove, who was unable to keep the ball, and scored to give his side 2-1 ahead.