West Ham United Academy star Ajibola Alese and England suffered penalty shootout heartbreak at the hands of the Netherlands in the UEFA European U17 Championship semi-finals.
After a hard-fought goalless draw, England were edged out 6-5 on spot-kicks to miss out on a place in the final in the cruellest circumstances.
The Hammers defender was part of head coach Steve Cooper’s starting XI as the Young Lions, who lost in a shootout to Spain in last year’s final and won the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup, were edged out by their Dutch counterparts in Chesterfield on Thursday evening.
Alese, 17, missed England’s opening two group-stage fixtures before being drafted into the team for the 1-0 defeat by Switzerland. He kept his place for the 2-0 quarter-final victory over Norway and was again involved from the kick-off against the Oranje.
The Netherlands will take on Italy in the final in Rotherham on Sunday evening.