Steven Sessegnon lifted the Under 17 World Cup this evening after helping England come from two goals down to defeat Spain 5-2 in a thrilling final in Kolkata.
The stunning victory represented England’s first ever global success at this age group level and capped a remarkable month for the Fulham full-back, who wasn’t even in coach Steve Cooper’s first eleven at the start of the tournament. Sessegnon impressed in the final group victory over Iraq and retained his place for the rest of the championships – and he certainly made his mark in an end-to-end final.
Sessegnon supplied two assists as the Young Lions roared back from 2-0 down, including a crucial intervention on the stroke of half-time that turned the tide of the contest after Sergi Gomez had put the Spaniards firmly in control. The teenager showed plenty of confidence to skin Gomez down the right and deliver a low cross which Rhian Brewster clinically converted. He was at it again thirteen minutes after the interval producing a fine centre for Morgan Gibbs-White to score following a trademark overlapping run.
Manchester City’s Phil Foden put England ahead for the first time with 19 minutes remaining but the Young Lions were indebted to Sessegnon for a superb goal-line clearance just afterwards when goalkeeper Curtis Anderson completely missed a cross. England sealed their famous victory in the final six minutes as, first, Marc Guehi stabbed home from a set-play, and then Foden fired home the fifth to spark wild celebrations.
The victory was fitting reward for Sessegnon’s own tenacity in getting his development firmly back on track after two serious injuries during his formative years at Fulham’s Motspur Park academy, when he has had to watch his twin brother Ryan explode on the professional scene. Sessegnon, already handed his senior debut by Slavisa Jokanovic earlier this season, will now turn his attention to gaining a regular spot in the Fulham first team.