ENGLAND suffered late agony to lose the UEFA U17 European Championship final to Spain in the cruellest of ways at Varazdin in Croatia.
The Young Lions were on the cusp of becoming the first team to lift the trophy three times after leading 2-1 with seconds to spare.
However, that record went to Spain after substitute Nacho Diaz’s equaliser with the last touch of normal time set up a penalty shoot-out that went the way of the seven-time finalists.
Goals from Callum Hudson-Odoi and Phil Foden either side of Mateu Morey’s goal on the stroke of half-time for Spain put one English hand on the trophy.
That was snatched away as the dream turned to a nightmare when, in the sixth minute of added time, Diaz headed home a corner from the left.
THE new ABBA penalty system trialled by Uefa was used on England for the first time. Similar to tennis’ tiebreak format, the Uefa initiative sees a system where teams no longer alternate penalties, but have two in a row after the initial spot kick.
Victor Chust slotted home the decisive penalty after Abel Ruiz, Morey and Sergio Gomez had converted before him to capitalise on Rhian Brewster and Joel Latibeaudiere’s missed spot-kicks.
England: 1 Josef Bursik (AFC Wimbledon), 3 Lewis Gibson (Newcastle United), 4 George McEachran (Chelsea), 5 Marc Guehi (capt; Chelsea), 6 Jonathan Panzo (Chelsea), 7 Phil Foden (Manchester City), 9 Rhian Brewster (Liverpool), 10 Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), 11 Jadon Sancho (Manchester City), 15 Alex Denny (Everton), 19 Joel Latibeaudiere (Manchester City).
Substitutes used: 17 Aidan Barlow (Manchester United) for Hudson-Odoi 77, 16 Daniel Loader (Reading) for Foden 80, 14 Jake Vokins (Southampton) for Sancho 80+3.