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FIFA U-17 WC: England Register Comfortable 4-0 Win Over Iraq

Saturday, 14 October 2017|Abhishek Mukherjee
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England registered a dominating 4-0 victory over Iraq riding on a brace from Daniel Loader in the Group-F encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Saturday (14 October 2017).

Gomes initiated the scoring for England in the 11th minute, while Smith increased the lead in the 57th minute before Loader scored his brace in the 59th and 71st minute. 

Having already qualified for the round of 16, England coach Steve Cooper made a whole lot of changes to the squad which faced Mexico in the second match. 

England had the upper hand in the opening minutes as they enjoyed the lion's share of possession. Iraq failed to settle down and looked nervy from the onset. 

It took England just 11 minutes to draw first blood. Nya Kirby's low cross from the right found an unmarked Angel Gomes near the far post, who buried the ball home to give England the lead. 

England refused to take their foot off the accelerator and continued their quest for a second goal, even after taking the early lead. England got a chance to double their lead in the 24th minute when the referee Jair Marrufo awarded England the penalty after Emile Smith was brought down in the penalty box by Md Albaqer. The resulting penalty, however, was brilliantly saved by Iraq's custodian Ali Ibadi, who dived to the right to deny Dortmund's teenage sensation, Jadon Sancho. 

A minute later, Ali Ibadi came to Iraq's rescue again when he pulled off a heroic save to deny Smith. 

Iraq, who failed to get a grip on proceedings, upped their ante in the later stages of the half. Striker Ali Kareem missed a golden opportunity to restore parity in the 32nd minute as his shot was parried away by England goalkeeper, William Crellin. 

England weathered the Iraqi storm before halftime, keeping the scoreline 1-0. 

Soon after play resumed, Iraq coach AL-Rubaye introduced Md Dawood in the 48th minute. The decision almost paid an instant dividend in the 49th minute when Dawood came perilously close to make it 1-1. 

Iraq kept piling on the pressure after the restart but failed to disturb the scoreline. 

In the 57th minute, against the run of play, England increased their lead. Emile Smith played a brilliant one-two with Angel Gomes to lose his marker and bury the ball past Ibadi. 

A minute later, Daniel Loader scored the third for England, ending Iraq's chances of a miraculous comeback. He scored again the 71st minute, which proved to be the final nail in Iraq's coffin. 

The match thus ended 4-0 in favour of England. 

With the help of this win, England topped Group F and will face Japan in the round of 16 encounter on 17th October. 

Iraq, on the other hand, qualified as the second team from Group F and will lock horns with Mali in another round of 16 encounter in Goa.