- England were beaten by Brazil in the Under 17 World Cup in Indonesia on Friday
- Manchester City youngster Joel Ndala impressed in the defeat against Brazil
- Southgate’s loyalty to his players is an issue and a weakness – It’s All Kicking Off
Manchester City are at it again. Six years on from Phil Foden showcasing his talents when England won the Under 17 World Cup in India, Joel Ndala is the name worth noting as the Young Lions played the final group game of this edition in Indonesia.
England lost 2-1 against a Brazil team that, unlike them, had not yet secured qualification for the knockout stages.
Yet the beauty of this tournament is it guarantees a glimpse into the future of English football regardless of the result and, unfortunately for their Premier League rivals, Friday’s positivity came from those belonging to the City stable.
Ndala, the 17-year-old right-footed left winger from the same parish as Foden, performed like a player obsessed with the idea of embarrassing his opposition full back. Brazil’s Pedro Lima can only have left the Jakarta International Stadium wondering what he did to deserve such torment after 90 minutes of footballing hell.
Yet he is not the first full back to receive this ruthless treatment from the Manchester-born Ndala, nor will he be the last. City’s young prospect was mesmerising down the left as he won a penalty and scored it himself in this slender loss, which saw England top Group C ahead of defending champions Brazil on goal difference.
Manchester City youngster Joel Ndala starred for the Young Lions in their 2-1 defeat against Brazil at the Under 17 World Cup
Ndala, the 17-year-old right-footed left winger from the same parish as Phil Foden, performed like a player obsessed with the idea of embarrassing his opposition full back
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As well as Ndala, Matty Warhurst was threatening up front. Another one who belongs to City, only the crossbar stopped the Stalybridge-born 17-year-old striker’s athletic airborne volley from nestling in the net before Brazil goalkeeper Phillipe Gabriel clawed away his towering header.
Special mention must also go to England keeper Tommy Setford, the 17-year-old of Ajax who made several saves late on as the Young Lions searched for their leveller. In the end, England, captained by Lakyle Samuel, also of City, could not find an equaliser.
England’s main downfall was that they came up against Estevao of Brazil. The 16-year-old of Palmeiras is nicknamed ‘Messinho’ with many in his homeland feeling this talented teenager is destined for Barcelona.
His twists and turns created his team’s opener scored on the rebound by Kaua before Da Mata’s header made sure of the win.
England’s main downfall was that they came up against Estevao (right) of Brazil who is nicknamed ‘Messinho’
Estevao created his team’s opener scored on the rebound by Kaua before Da Mata’s header made sure of the win for Brazil
There was no Endrick, the other Palmeiras wonderkid who will move to Real Madrid once he turns 18 in July.
The 17-year-old became the youngest player to secure a senior call-up for Brazil since Ronaldo in 1994, making his debut in their 2-1 defeat by Colombia this week. Endrick has outgrown the U17s level and his soon-to-be former Palmeiras team-mate Estevao hopes to follow soon.
It was Ndala and Estevao whose individuality impressed most as England topped their group despite this defeat by Brazil, following their 10-0 and 2-1 wins over New Caledonia and Iran.
Foden won player of the tournament in 2017 when England emerged victorious from the U17 World Cup. The terrific Ndala looks as determined to make the 2023 tournament his own, too.
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