Magri suffers England heartbreak

Sam Magri in his early days at Pompey
Sam Magri in his early days at Pompey
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

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Sam Magri suffered heartache after England were knocked out of the under-17 European Championships at the semi-final stage.

The Pompey defender was part of the side which yesterday slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Holland.

The winning goal came in the 26th minute through Arsenal’s Kyle Ebicilio.

The midfielder exchanged passes with Anass Achahbar before shooting low into the bottom corner of the net.

That was enough to separate the sides in the clash at the Karadjordje Stadium in Novi Sad, Serbia.

The Dutch defence hadn’t conceded a goal in their previous six matches. And John Peacock’s team also struggled to break them down.

In the first-half, Brighton’s Jake Caskey went close with a 25-yard shot which rolled just wide of the post.

A few minutes later, Brad Smith surged down the left, only to see his effort fly high across the face of goal.

Peacock brought on both Adam Morgan and Nathan Redmond after 50 minutes in an attempt to find a way back into the match.

Within minutes, Redmond cut in from the left and fired a shot just over the bar, then Morgan’s wicked free-kick was diverted narrowly wide of the post by the chest of Magri. Another chance for England came in the 77th minute when John Lundstram’s ball into the box was missed by everyone, only to bounce just the wrong side of the post.

With time ticking down, Magri had a header saved by keeper Boy de Jong as the Dutch held on for victory.

As reigning champions, it was a disappointing end for England.

They will now travel to Mexico next month for the World Cup.

For Magri, though, his displays further enhanced a blossoming reputation.

The 17-year-old appeared at centre-half in all four of England’s matches during the competition.