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Rampant England put ten past New Caledonia



England recorded their biggest-ever FIFA U-17 World Cup victory as they swept aside New Caledonia at Jakarta International Stadium on Saturday.

The Young Lions dominated from the outset and hit the front from the penalty spot on 15 minutes. Reiss Denny calmly slotted home from 12 yards after New Caledonia forward Jean-Philippe Angexetine was penalised for a foul on Myles Lewis-Skelly.

It was 2-0 soon after, with Justin Oboavwoduo finishing from close range after excellent work from the lively Tyler Dibling. Dibling then got on the scoresheet himself, firing past Nicolas Kutran in the New Caledonia goal after a mazy run into the box.

England’s fourth came on the stroke of half-time when Josh-Kofi Acheampong headed in from a corner. Ryan Garry’s team did not let up and Sam Amo-Ameyaw’s precision low drive made it 5-0 shortly after the break. Oboavwoduo then displayed impressive composure to slot his second and his team’s sixth.

The seventh goal was the pick of the bunch, with substitute Ethan Nwaneri curling a sumptuous effort into the top corner from 20 yards. Michael Golding’s shot then deflected off the unfortunate Wadria Hanye and left Kutran with no chance, before Harrison Murray-Campbell netted with a fine header. Finley McAllister wrapped up the scoring with a well-struck shot in stoppage time.


The 10-0 success eclipses England’s previous biggest win at the tournament, which was was a 5-0 win over another OFC nation – New Zealand – in 2007.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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