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Netherlands hit back to frustrate England

Netherlands 1-1 England
Timothy Fosu-Mensah's first-half own goal was cancelled out by Reda Boultam's spot kick in a repeat of the 2014 final.

Highlights: Netherlands 1-1 England
Highlights: Netherlands 1-1 England

Holders England draw with the Netherlands in a repeat of the 2014 final
Dutch captain Timothy Fosu-Mensah scores an own goal; Reda Boultam levels from the spot
England lead Group D on four points – one clear of Italy, two ahead of the Jong Oranje
Next matches: England v Republic of Ireland, Netherlands v Italy (Wednesday)

A penalty from Reda Boultam earned the Netherlands a draw with England in Stara Zagora, a result that leaves UEFA European Under-17 Championship Group D finely poised.

Justin Bijlow twice came to the Dutch's aid early on. The goalkeeper first stood tall to deny Chris Willock what would have been a superb individual goal after he withheld a challenge midway inside the Netherlands' half and weaved his way into the penalty area.

Bijlow then repelled an effort from Stephy Mavididi, forced wide by Marcus Edwards' pass, but could do nothing to prevent the holders from taking an 18th-minute lead.

Edwards, England's match winner against Italy on Thursday and a livewire presence at the apex of a front three, received possession in a pocket of space behind the Jong Oranje's midfield and fed Adetayo Edun overlapping down the right. The resulting cross was teasing, too much so for the Netherlands' captain Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who sliced it into his own net.

Quick and powerful in the foward areas, England were swarming all over their opponents, Mavididi the next to threaten with a shot wide. In response, Maarten Stekelenburg removed right-back Giovanni Troupée in a tactical switch to a back three.

A brief break because of a faulty floodlight – coupled with half-time – dimmed England's bright attacking play and having survived a scare when Dani de Wit could not connect with Jay-Roy Grot's header across goal, John Peacock's team conceded a penalty.

De Wit was involved, being brought down by Trent Arnold; Boultam converted with ease. Suddenly it was the other two-time winners looking dangerous. Substitute Donyell Malen spurned their best chance to win it, placing the ball wide with just Paul Woolston to beat, meaning Peacock's 100th UEFA match in charge of England U17s was not an unhappy one.  

Reaction
Maarten Stekelenburg, Netherlands coach
Both teams played a high-intensity game. In the first half they were better; in the second half maybe we deserved a little bit more. In the end a draw is OK. I started with four defenders, but I saw they had two strikers so I took a defender off and brought a forward on. We struggled a little bit [with England's pace] in the first half because we don't play top games too often. The players have to get used to the intensity. In the second half when we had got used to it you could see our quality, so that gives us confidence going into our last game.

John Peacock, England manager
It was an absolutely top-class game of football at U17 level between two very good teams. We had the better of the first half and should have scored another one – it might have been a different story in the second period – but the Dutch came out and 1-1 was probably a fair result. It was different [to the performance against Italy] in many ways. We caught the Dutch slightly unawares by playing differently and they were a bit rattled. They had to change two or three times and went to a back three, so that was pleasing. Tactically, technically and work-rate, the game had everything. There was some real good stuff out there.