Amadou Diallo captains and scores for England U17s
Academy of Football starlet Amadou Diallo has enjoyed a fruitful week with England Under-17s, both captaining and scoring twice for the Young Lions during three friendlies across four days.
The skilful young forward, who turns 17 later this week, has been based in Marbella as part of Head Coach Kevin Betsy’s 22-man squad preparing for the U17 Euro Elite Round qualifiers in March.
England’s first fixture saw them held to a 0-0 draw by Ukraine at Stadium Lorenzo Cuevas on Thursday afternoon, with Diallo playing the final 20 minutes of the stalemate, which concluded with a practice penalty shootout won by the Young Lions.
Their second fixture on Saturday afternoon proved much incident-packed, with Betsy’s team taking on Russia at the same venue.
Diallo started the game with the captain’s armband in what was only his fifth appearance for England U17s, having netted on his debut at that age level in October.
The starlet witnessed his side go behind just after half-time, only for England’s Harvey Vale to equalise a quarter-of-an-hour later.
Russia rallied to strike again with 15 minutes remaining, but Diallo led a brilliant comeback for his side, sprinting into the box to convert Louie Barry’s low cross and equalise with ten minutes remaining.
Just two minutes later, Everton striker Lewis Dobbin pounced to put the Young Lions in front, before Aston Villa’s Barry wrapped up the win as the game ticked towards injury time.
In the final fixture on Monday afternoon – also against Ukraine – Diallo found himself back amongst the substitutes but once again got himself on the scoresheet during the second period as the Young Lions ran rampant in a 4-0 win.
Having netted in both of the U17s’ two tours to Spain this season, Diallo will now hope to have secured his place in Betsy’s squad ahead of the Elite Round qualifiers next month.
England will face each of Georgia, Romania and hosts Belgium in Group 6 between 25 and 31 March, with the group winners and seven best runners-up (from eight groups) advancing to the Finals, which will take place in Estonia this summer.