Academy starlets Baptiste and Diallo in England U17s action
Academy starlets Jamal Baptiste and Amadou Diallo both starred on their debuts for England Under-17s tonight in a thrilling 3-3 friendly draw with Germany Under-17s this afternoon.
Playing the first of three preparatory fixtures at the Pinatar Stadium in Spain, 15-year-old defender Baptiste and 16-year-old forward Diallo both started the match in their first game at U17s level.
Manager Kevin Betsy’s Young Lions got off to a poor start when they conceded twice inside the first 12 minutes, Lasse Gunther and Luca Netz both striking early - the latter a penalty - to put the Germans in a commanding position.
The excellent Diallo would temporarily turn the tide of the game when he added his name to the scoresheet, firing home to make the score 2-1 after 26 minutes.
While Netz would score again from the spot shortly before half-time, restoring the Germans’ two-goal advantage, England came storming back in the second-half.
After Lewis Dobbin’s strike gave them hope ten minutes into the second half, England pulled level right at the end of the game through Nathan Young, claiming a deserved draw after more than playing their part in the fixture.
Both Baptiste and Diallo had previously England at U16 level, and will hope to have impressed enough today to retain their places when England replay Germany at 4pm on Saturday 12 October at the same venue. They could also feature in the U17s game against host nation Spain on Monday 14 October at 11am.
Their U17s call-up comes with both players having impressed for West Ham at U18 and, in Baptiste’s case, U23 level this season.