It’s not every day that you can say that you can literally walk to the end of your road and watch the England team play football!
The International Algarve Cup takes place each year for under 17’s .. this year Portugal, England, Germany and Holland are competing in various stadiums across the Algarve from today 13th February to next Tuesday 17th February, in the 38th tournament to be held here in the Algarve.
The first England game – against Holland – took place today in bright sunshine at the Bela Vista Stadium – at the end of our road! It’s a sadly much under-utilised stadium with good facilities – and a decent sized pitch, even if the surface did look a bit shaky underfoot today!
We always enjoy this tournament each year – it’s a chance to see some young talent that might make its way into the full England squad one day – along with some old familiar faces too. The England U’17s are coached by John Peacock and in previous years we have sat next to Ray Clemence and Trevor Brooking – both gents in the English game.
Here’s the starting 11 for England this afternoon – you can find the full line up of names and a match report at the FA’s U17 page:
And the Dutch starting 11 – coached by Maarten Stekelenburg:
It all seemed so promising as the teams lined up for the National Anthems and shook hands:
And the flags were flying nicely in the bright afternoon sunshine of the stadium:
At kick-off we had such high hopes for the England team…
However within 5 minutes we were already 1-0 down – it happened so fast we couldn’t even capture it in focus!
Sadly by the 17th minute we were already 4-0 down – we’ll spare you all the shots of those goals – suffice to say our defence were pretty woeful …
we did have one chance on the Holland goal in the first half – we held our breath as Jahmal Hector-Ingram sliced a neat ball past the keeper …
but sadly the ball also sliced itself inches wide of the far post:
Here’s the moment in the 38th minute when the Dutch went 5-0 up – which is how we went into half time …
It’s a great tournament to spot young upcoming players – for England Jahmal Hector-Ingram showed some promise up front when he had the ball …
However the real talent to shine through came from the Dutch team – this young man looks like he is going to have a promising future – introducing you to Rashaan Fernandes – watch out for his name in the future!
It’s not all young talent though – there are lots of ex-international players and family members that come to the Algarve to watch the tournament … ok – we think this guy is a famous Dutch international … any takers anybody as to his name?!?
Our poor keeper had a bad day! Aston Oxborough fought valiantly but by the end of the game – sorry about this everyone .. but we let 7 in … ouch! All credit to the Holland team – we were outplayed all over the pitch and they showed up our poor defence at every opportunity.
Here’s the moment we went 6-0 down …
And following the only yellow card of the match – and the ensuing free kick by Javairo Dilrosum gave him his hat-trick with a finely taken free kick:
The keeper didn’t stand a chance against that one!
7-0 .. not the start we’re sure the England team wanted before going into the next game on Sunday against Portugal.
It was a good game to watch though and congratulations to the U’17 Holland team who deserved their win.
If you fancy watching the next game – check the poster at the start of this post for all the details – and watch out for the talented Dutch player Fernandes in the future!