After being selected to take part in England U17s World Cup squad last month, Crystal Palace’s Nya Kirby yesterday scored the goal that booked the Three Lions’ place in the quarter-finals.
The youngsters cruised through their group in fine style with three wins from three last week; including an eye-catching display from the aforementioned Kirby in the final group tie against Iraq. Having started yesterday’s game against Japan on the bench, Nya was eventually able to have the biggest impact of anyone; bagging the decisive penalty in supremely cool fashion.
In what was an incredibly tense affair, neither team managed to find the back of the net before the drama of spot-kicks, leaving Kirby with the stressful task of stepping up with the scores balanced 4-3 in England’s favour. Knowing that were he to be successful, the team would make it into the last eight, the midfield man showed a level of composure well beyond his years.
Taking his time in the immediate build-up, Nya struck a low shot hard into the left-hand post, wheeling away in jubilation as the ball pinged off the metal and into the back of the net. As you would imagine, wild scenes ensued and whilst he hasn’t played a starring role for the side in terms of regular starts so far, his name is now likely to be remembered within the group forever.
Having joined Palace from Spurs a short while ago, there are genuine hopes of him making the step-up to first-team level in the not too distant future, with moments such as the one he experienced yesterday only helping him to edge closer to realising the lifelong dream of becoming a fully fledged professional.
The young Lions will now take on the mightily impressive USA for a place in the last four, where they could potentially meet one of Germany or Brazil. Nya is, I’m sure, desperate to come up big yet again if he is given the chance to do so by the England coaching staff.
HLTCO is now completely advert free meaning I need your help. If you can spare a small amount each month to help me pay my bills, I’d be eternally grateful. Thanks.