England hold nerve to beat Japan on penalties

England hold nerve to beat Japan on penalties

England hold nerve to beat Japan on penalties

But the Asian side had managed to crop out the defensive errors from their game, making the Young Lions work that much harder for a breakthrough.

Four minutes into the first half, Soichiro Kozuki of Japan forced a save off English custodian Anderson after a quick counter down the right wing. Cooper also hoped that going forward, England would show the kind of positivity they exuded on the pitch on Monday night.

But from what has been on display over the last week, it would be naive to imagine Steve Cooper's charges struggling against Japan even sans Sancho. In fact, had Brewster hit the target from Foden's defence-splitting pass in the 27th minute, England could have taken complete control of the narrative.

England head coach Steve Cooper told reporters in India that was "disappointing" for Sancho, adding that he "loves playing for England and this team in particular".

Coming to Japan, the Yoshiro Moriyama-coached side gave a poor account of themselves in their last group engagement, drawing 1-1 with minnows New Caledonia who until then had shipped a dozen goals in two matches.

England under-17 global Jadon Sancho was on target as Borussia Dortmund's U19 side beat Apoel Nicosia 2-0 in the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday.

Japan grew stronger as the game went on, with Taisei Miyashiro testing Curtis Anderson on a couple of occasions, while Takefusa Kubo continued to pepper the England box. England continued their goal search even as Rhian Brewster and Angel Gomes missed back-to-back chances.

Crystal Palace's 17-year-old midfielder Nya Kirby scored the decisive spot-kick to send England through.

And the English manager was quick to realise that. I want players to use this energy to develop themselves.

England will now face United States of America in the quarter-finals this Saturday 21 October. "Having equalled our best is something to be proud of but we would love to come back to Kolkata".

Related news