England Under-16 Boys win Bronze

England Under-16 Boys battled back from two-nil down and then won on penalty shuffles against Belgium to take the bronze medal in the Four Nations Tournament in Mannheim, Germany, on Easter Monday.

Two goals from Lucas Ward helped them level the game with less than a minute remaining, and they kept their nerve through two rounds of penalty shuffles to take a dramatic 11-10 victory with goalkeeper Rory McCallum saving the final Belgian effort.

“The boys improved throughout the second half and created several chances which led to two good goals from Lucas Ward,” said Head Coach Charlie Bannister. “The whole squad has shown massive development throughout the tournament and they fully deserve their bronze medal.”

A goal on 29 minutes from Loic Sidler gave the Belgians the lead, and they doubled it on the stroke of half time with a penalty corner from Arnaud Pouet.

But England weren’t fazed, and hit back in the first minute of the second half. Lucas Ward took the ball down well from overhead and ran at pace, beating a defender and the goalkeeper before scoring with a reverse stick shot into the bottom corner from a narrow angle.

Despite creating chances the match looked to be slipping away from England until they levelled in the final minute, Ward again getting the final touch with a deflection at the right post in a penalty corner.

The sides were tied after the first round of shuffles, both having scored four of the five. And they were matched again in the second round until Belgium’s last effort was saved, sparking celebrations among the English lads.

* For reports and results from earlier in the Tournament please click here