North-East players to the fore as England Under-17s win European Championships (From The Northern Echo)
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North-East players to the fore as England Under-17s win European Championships
NEWCASTLE goalkeeper Freddie Woodman and Middlesbrough midfielder Callum Cooke were among England's penalty heroes as the Under-17s won the European Championships by beating Holland 4-1 in a shoot-out in Malta.
Dominic Solanke put England ahead in the first half of yesterday's final, only for Jai Schuurman's equaliser to mean the game finished 1-1 after normal time.
With no extra-time played, the game went straight to penalties, and England's youngsters held their nerve to score all four of their spot-kicks, while Holland missed two.
England skipper Ryan Ledson scored first, before Woodman, who is the son of Newcastle goalkeeping coach, Andy, saved the first Dutch penalty from Dani van de Moot.
Taylor Moore scored England's second spot-kick, with Peterlee-born Cooke, who came off the bench as a substitute towards the end of the game, calmly converting England's next penalty to make it 3-1.
Calvin Verdonk failed to find the target with Holland's next effort, so when Jonjoe Kenny maintained England's 100 per cent record, the Three Lions were able to celebrate their second European Under-17 title in the space of five years.
England were the better side for most of normal time, and took the lead when Solanke poked home his fourth goal of the tournament.
They were pegged back on the brink of half-time as Schuurman broke on to Steven Bergwijn's flick, but England's superior skills from the spot ultimately proved decisive.
Newcastle's Adam Armstrong and Middlesbrough's Dael Fry were also part of the successful squad, although they were not involved in the final.
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