The explosion of form in England youth levels continued last night as the country’s U17 side beat Mexico 3-2 to stay atop their World Cup group with just one game left to play before the knockout phases begin.
For Palace fans who normally have very little direct interest in England at youth level, the presence of Nya Kirby within the Three Lions squad should raise an eyebrow or two. Having joined us from Tottenham at the start of 2017, the central midfielder was selected for a place out in India by Head Coach Steve Cooper and got some minutes on the pitch in our opening victory over Chile a few days ago.
Whilst Kirby remained an unused substitute for yesterday’s triumph over Mexico, his teammates produced an impressive display, powering themselves into a three-goal lead with strikes in the 39th, 48th and 55th minute from Brewster, Foden and Sancho respectively. They were forced to endure a bit of a scare late on after conceding a brace of Diego Lainez goals either side of the hour mark but they held on well to secure their passage into the knockout stages with a game to spare.
They will have the chance to end to top the group in style when playing their final fixture against Iraq on Saturday; a game in which Kirby is sure to be desperate to impress in if given the chance to do so by Cooper. Although the game is being televised on British Eurosport, the kick-off time of 3:30pm intertwines infuriatingly with Palace’s Premier League clash against Chelsea, giving us no chance of seeing how Nya gets on.
If he does manage to get some minutes under his belt, you can be sure of seeing a full summary of his performance on HLTCO at some point over the weekend.
Fingers crossed for him and the other lads.
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