KOLKATA: England prevailed over two-time champions Mexico 3-2 to seal a FIFA U-17 World Cup pre- quarterfinal berth with yet another dominating show here on Wednesday.
It was a feast for the eyes as 40,620 people turned out at the Salt Lake Stadium and witnessed the five-goal thriller with England dominating the first one-hour, followed by Mexico’s second-half resurgence.
After some hits and misses in the first 30 minutes, Liverpool youngster Rhian Brewster curled in a 39th minute free-kick to break the stalemate.
Brilliant with his pace and movement, Philip Foden finally found his name in the scoreline when he doubled the lead four minutes after the break, while the Young Lions star player Jadon Sancho earned a penalty and converted it in the 57th minute for his third goal in the tournament.
It seemed a one-way traffic for the English youngsters but El Tri made a sensational comeback with a stunning brace by Diego Lainez (65, 72).
But it was not enough for the seven-time defending CONCACAF champions as they suffered their first defeat in the tournament, following their frustating 1-1 draw against Iraq.
England enjoyed a 57 per cent first-half possession but a goal eluded them till the former Chelsea boy converted from the freekick which was earned by Foden.
The contest had just picked pace as Callum Hudson-Odoi’s right-footed shot from the left side of the six yard box was saved in the centre of the goal by El Tiri custodian Cesar Lopez.
However, Brewster then sent the ball crashing into the top right corner with a right-footed shot as England went into halftime with 1-0 lead.
Mexico looked to equalise in the first-half injury time when a Torres’ right-footed freekick from a difficult angle was saved in the top centre of the goal by England goalkeeper Curtis Anderson.
Manchester United attacking midfielder Angel Gomes came off the bench and made his presence felt within a minute when he along with Sancho set up Foden to make it 2-0.
The Manchester City midfielder’s left-footed shot from the centre of the box went to the top right corner as it was yet another dominant show from Steve Cooper’s side, which had routed Chile 4-0 in their group opener three days ago. There was more misery in store for Mexico as captain Carlos Robles handled the ball inside the box and Dortmund star Sancho converted it without fuss.
After Lainez’s back-to-back goals, Mexico missed a couple of attempts to keep England on the tenterhooks.
Alexis Guti rrez produced a close left-footed shot from outside the box in the 77th minute but missed the target. Roberto De La Rosa then went on to miss a header from the centre of the box, while Conor Gallagher’s right-footed shot was blocked by the English defence.