England U-18 1-1 Brazil U-18
Brazil win 4-2 on penalties.
A bumper crowd of 1800 came to see the Young Lions’ play their Brazilian counterparts at the PRG Stadium, Keys Park. From the evidence of the carnival atmosphere in the stands and on the terraces, the FA’s decision to play such a prestigious game at the home of Hednesford Town FC should be applauded. With many youth football teams taking up the chance to watch and be inspired by tomorrow’s footballing stars, Keys Park was awash with colour and vibrant with noise.
Following the impeccably observed national anthems of both countries, the match was played in the late summer Staffordshire evening sunshine. Early on the Brazilian youngsters demonstrated the close ball skills associated with the South American footballing superpower, the Young Lions equalling the opposition with organisation and effort in an even opening to the game.
England struck first in the 32nd minute when a clumsy Brazilian challenge gave England the chance to score from the penalty spot, Yunus Musah duly obliged cooly sending his spot kick to the left of keeper Matheus to take a one goal lead into the break.
The lead would last until the 50th minute when Gabriel played Joao Gabriel Martins Peglow through, who calmly slotted past Moulden in the England goal. Moments later the Brazilian’s came close to taking the lead hitting the right post, as England were forced to defend robustly, with Brazil in the ascendency, turning on the magic.
England weathered the storm as the contest moved into the final 20 minutes. A flurry of substitutions disrupted the flow of the game with neither side carving out a clear cut opportunity to claim victory. A late push from England saw a series of free kicks and corners raise the excitement level, however the game ended level after 90 minutes and moved to a penalty shootout. Peglow struck the decisive penalty to give Brazil a 4-2 shootout victory.
It was an entertaining evening of football for the enthusiastic crowd, with plenty on display to give both England and Brazil reason to be optimistic for the future, as well as being a huge source of pride for all associated with Hednesford Town FC for hosting an international game at Keys Park.
England; Moulden, Livramento (C), Roberts, Azeez, Mengi, Wood, Madueke, Musah, Gelhardt, Palmer, Rogers. Subs Bondswell, Trafford, Weir, Simeu, Bate, Knight, Mighten, Stewart, De Carvalho, Broome
Brazil; Matheus, Couto, Santos (C), Wiedhauper, Reis, Gabriel, Ramos, Martins, Rosa, De Souza Subs Costa, Andrade, Filho, Santos, de Silva, Gomes, Santos Goes, Obermuller, Marques, da Silva.