There’s nothing like getting vital experience as a young football player.
And for English players, part of that learning is that you’ll probably be incredibly talented, have a decent club career, but when it comes to the international stage you will suffer penalty heartache at an international tournament.
Such was the case for the Three Lions’ Under-17 side, as they conceded a 96th minute equaliser and went onto lose on penalties in the European Under-17 Championship against Spain.
Missed spot kicks by Rhian Brewster and Joel Latibeaudiere for Steven Cooper’s side saw the Spaniards race away to win the shoot-out 4-1 after the teams finished 2-2 in normal time.
Poor goalkeeping by Josef Bursik allowed Spain to pull level SIX minutes into added time through sub Nacho Diaz in the final in Croatia.
Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi put England ahead in the 19th minute, taking a pass from Jadon Sancho on the left and weaving himself inside to set himself up for a smashing deflected right footer inside the far post from 16 yards.
Spanish defender Panza caused the Three Lions panic a minute later with a shot into the side-netting before an unmarked Abel Ruiz fired just wide from 10 yards.
As Spain pushed for the equaliser Guillamo missed out with a 32nd minute free header after England defender Lewis Gibson failed to deal with a hanging ball.
Almost inevitably Spain did equalise after 38 minutes. A sparkling move saw Ruiz move the ball on to right back Mateu Morey, whose diagonal run split the English defence and allowed him to fire home his third goal of the tournament.
Hudson-Odoi proved a real thorn in Spain’s side after the break, bringing a great save out of Fernandez that led to his 58th minute corner that Spain failed to clear.
Up stepped Manchester City’s Foden to rattle in a low left-footer from 25 yards that also took a slight deflection.
England lived dangerously in the closing stages and keeper Bursik produced a couple of telling saves as the Spaniards, and Ruiz in particular, went for broke.
But they just couldn’t hang and with just seconds left Diaz headed in a corner with a question mark hanging over Bursik’s poor attempt to beat the ball out.