England U18 Boys edged out in shootout drama

England U18 Boys, July 2017

England Under-18 Boys (0) 1
Matthew Ramshaw – 45 (FG)

Belgium Under-18 Boys (0) 1
Emile Esquelin – 55 (FG)

Belgium win shootout 5-3

England Under-18 Boys were narrowly edged out in their opening game of the Six Nations Tournament in Nottingham, losing in a shootout to Belgium after the scores had been tied after 60 minutes.

After a tense first half Matthew Ramshaw had given England the lead with a 45th minute field goal, only for Belgium to level with five minutes remaining through an Emily Esquelin field goal and then go on to win 5-3 in the shootout.

Head Coach Jody Paul said: “We played them a couple of times ten days ago in Belgium and won one and lost one, so I think this was a fair result. It was good to see the guys come out and play a strong game and it should set us up well for the rest of the tournament.”

Captain Oliver Payne played well in goal, making several great saves which kept England in the match on two or three occasions.

Ramshaw took his goal well from the top of the D after breaking down the middle, while Belgium’s goal was also well taken with Esquelin firing home with superb speed over Payne’s shoulder.

Gareth Griffiths, Rohan Bhuhi and Ben Stevenson scored England’s first three efforts in the shootout, but when their fourth was missed, Belgium clinched the win with their fifth shootout goal giving them an unassailable lead.

England Under-18 boys are next in action at 1730 on Tuesday, when they take on Spain.