Sancho leaves England to join club Dortmund
Kolkata: England U-17 coach Steve Cooper confirmed on Monday that star attacking midfielder Jadon Sancho has left the team's campaign at the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup and returned to Germany to join his club Borussia Dortmund for the ongoing German Bundesliga season.
"Dortmund requested he got back to Germany. It is disappointing for him. He was relishing the chance to play for a World Cup. It was disappointing to see him go. He might start for Dortmund over the weekend," Cooper said on the eve of England's pre-quarterfinal tie against Japan here on Tuesday.
Sancho trained with the England U-17 team on Sunday but was not seen during practice on Monday.
Sancho was only allowed to attend the tournament on condition that he would return to his club after the group stages.
However, according to a report by The Sun recently, the FA and England bigwigs tried to persuade the Dortmund management to change their stance and let the 17-year-old stay to hopefully fire them to World Cup glory.
England had a perfect record in the opening stages of the U-17 World Cup, winning against Mexico, Chile and Iraq in Group F. They scored as many as 11 goals and conceded just two leading to talk of them being one of the favourites to win the title along with France and Brazil.
'Red-hot' England take on Japan for a quarter-final spot
Kolkata: Title contenders England will look to continue their scintillating form and go past the first knockout hurdle when they take on Japan in the pre- quarterfinal of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup on Tuesday.
Eleven goals in three matches and second behind France (14 goals), England could not got a better start to their fourth U-17 World Cup campaign. They would now be eyeing the quarterfinals for the third time, but their first since Mexico-2011. England have not progressed beyond last-eight stage in the tournament but this time the Young Lions look to last the distance, determined to follow up a summer of success for their country at the youth level.
England won the U-20 World Cup in Korea, made Euro U-21 last-four in Poland and then this side ended runners-up to Spain in the UEFA European U-17 Championships to qualify for this event, all earlier this year.
In the last edition in Chile-2015, a winless England failed to reach the knockout stage and capped a disappointing run with just one goal from three matches. But this time, the Steve Cooper-coached side has made quite a statement, making them one of the front-runners in the 17th edition of the biennial tournament.
Having retained the crux of the side in the first two wins to seal a knockout berth, Cooper cleverly made eight changes against Iraq, and yet came out flying with a 4-0 win in their final Group F game.
Japan will be coming in without a win in their last two matches, after thrashing Honduras 6-1 in their campaign opener. Since then, they have lost to eventual Group E toppers France 1-2, before being held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by debutants New Caledonia who returned home with their first ever point of the tournament.
Japan will also be eyeing the last eight for the third time, first since 2011.