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Germany make U17 World Cup semi-finals

Published: Tuesday 5 July 2011, 10.19CET
Germany overcame England 3-2 to take their FIFA U-17 World Cup goal tally to 18 and set up a semi-final against France's conquerors and tournament hosts Mexico on Friday.
Germany make U17 World Cup semi-finals
Germany celebrate during their 3-2 defeat of England in Mexico ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 5 July 2011, 10.19CET

Germany make U17 World Cup semi-finals

Germany overcame England 3-2 to take their FIFA U-17 World Cup goal tally to 18 and set up a semi-final against France's conquerors and tournament hosts Mexico on Friday.

Germany will aim to keep the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Europe after winning through to join hosts Mexico, Brazil and Uruguay in the semi-finals.

Steffen Freund's UEFA European Under-17 Championship runners-up had been in prime goalscoring form even before their 3-2 quarter-final victory over England on Monday, having beaten Ecuador 6-1, Burkina Faso 3-0 and Panama 2-0 in the group stage before a 4-0 round of 16 defeat of the United States.

If England seemed to have the better of the early quarter-final exchanges in Morelia, Samed Yesil – this summer's European finals joint top scorer – struck on seven minutes, before Kaan Ayhan's low finish midway through the half doubled the lead. Moments after Odisseas Vlachodimos had made a superb save from England captain Nathaniel Chalobah, Yesil swept in Mitchell Weiser's pass for his fifth World Cup goal.

Germany's advantage was reduced when Samuel Magri converted a second-half penalty and Hallam Hope netted with seven minutes to go but Freund's men held on. It was the end of a creditable campaign for England, who had topped their group before beating Argentina on penalties in the round of 16.

Freund, several of whose players were struck by a stomach bug on the eve of the game, said: "I'm very pleased to have won and very proud of my players, but I must also congratulate an English side that never gave in, barely gave us any respite and really put us under the cosh at the end."

Mexico await Germany in the semi-finals (midnight CET on Friday) after overcoming France 2-1. Jordan Ikoko had cancelled out Kevin Escamilla's early effort for the hosts yet Carlos Fierro's 50th-minute solo effort decided matters.

France had seen off Argentina 3-0 and drawn 1-1 with Japan and Jamaica in the group stage before recovering from two down in the last 16 to beat Ivory Coast 3-2 with a superb display from two-goal Yassine Benzia. The Ivorians also impressed and their AC Siena striker Souleymane Coulibaly equalled Florent Sinama-Pongolle's tournament record of nine goals.

The other three European contenders – continental champions the Netherlands, Denmark and the Czech Republic – fell in the group stage. Germany are hoping to emulate 2009 winners Switzerland, only the third European winners after France eight years earlier and the Soviet Union in 1987. The tournament concludes at Mexico City's Azteca Stadium on Sunday.

Full tournament details can be found on FIFA's official website.

Last updated: 05/07/11 20.10CET

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