FIFA U17 World Cup: Confident but not cocky says Liverpool & England star Rhian Brewster after reaching QFs at Japan's expense
The 2017 calendar year has been a fantastic one for England's development sides, with the U20 and U19 sides winning the World Cup and European Championships respectively. With the current bunch of U17 stars showing the quality of talent England have at the youth level as they qualified for the quarter-final stage in the ongoing FIFA U17 World Cup in India, the excitement regarding these boys is an all-time high. One such bright young prospect is Liverpool man and England number nine Rhian Brewster.
The London-born striker has been showing his mettle during the Young Lions present World Cup campaign. Although not the finished product yet, Brewster is an absolute workhorse and has great positioning sense, all he needs is to work on his finishing to get him to the next level.
The striker for all his chances has only managed to score once, through a sublime freekick, but didn't shy away from his responsibilities when he was asked to take the first kick in the knockout match against Japan. Banishing his demons from the European championships where he had missed his spot kick in the final which subsequently led to a runners-up medal for the English, he started off what ended as a perfect set of penalties from his teammates.
"It was a great feeling winning on pens, it shows that we can take pens all five of us and scoring them was good," he said after the match.
"I missed one in the Euro finals that cost us the game so, in my head, I was thinking ‘I ain’t gonna miss this one, I’m gonna score’ and it paid off. I picked my spot and hit it as hard as I can and it went in so I’m all happy," he further added
Brewster rattled the outside of the post early on in the game when Phil Foden, the architect behind the whole move, placed the ball in his path from the left side. Brewster, who got into dangerous positions time and time again, was working hard for his side but was unable to make the most of his chances.
On being asked about his frustration in failing to score he said: "Obviously I’m disappointed that I didn’t score, I'm just trying to work hard for the team and get in the box every time we get a chance and obviously it's a great feeling, breaking the penalty jitters and getting to the quarters.I’m happy that we got the win".
Brewster, like the rest of the England camp, was all praises about their opponents but ecstatic to have made it to the next round. "It was a tough game, I think Japan were very good, but we were good in the first half as well, it’s a good thing to go to the quarter-finals and we will be hoping to come back here for the final," said the striker.
England, who ended the group stage with a perfect record, failed to score for the first time after scoring 11 in the previous three matches, but the players believe the morale is high among them and that they can go all the way in the tournament. "We wanna win it; yeah we are very confident but not cocky, so we just hope we can come back here for the final and win it!" Brewster concluded.
The Young Lions have already equalled their best in the tournament by reaching the quarterfinals and will be hoping to even better than this time around. England face a tough challenge in the next round, as they take on the soaring USA in Goa.