A goal from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and an incredible penalty save by Freddie Woodman help England to victory over Venezuela in the Under 20s Word Cup Final in South Korea.
It was the eventual victors who began the better of the two sides, creating the first decent opportunities of the game. Liverpool summer signing Dominic Solanke found himself in on goal, however his tame effort was stopped comfortably by Venezuela keeper Farinez. The outcome was the same again as Ademola Lookman, from the other half of Merseyside, hit a venomous shot from range.
It was then Venezuela’s turn to test the opposition keeper from distance. Midfielder Ronaldo Lucena lived up to his name as he struck a magnificent 40 yard effort towards goal, leaving England keeper Woodman stranded as the ball cannoned off the post.
Ten minutes later, as the match continued to entertain, England took the lead. Captain Lewis Cook dinked a dead ball into Calvert-Lewin who saw his first attempt saved well before slotting in on the rebound. The goal was Everton striker Calvert-Lewin’s second of the tournament, and England’s first in a World Cup Final since that of 1966.
Within minutes of the beginning of the second half, both sides came close to changing the score line. It was first Venezuela who had an opportunity, as impressive substitute Yeferson Soteldo ran forward, making an immediate impact as he played through Cordova, Woodman however, was quick off his line to smother the ball.
England then came close to fruition as they looked to double their lead. Tottenham midfielder Joshua Onomah struck viciously from range, leaving Wuilker Farinez watching as the ball hit the bar before bouncing on the goal line.
The games most crucial moment then came with fifteen minutes to go. With Adalberto Penaranda running towards goal dangerously, England defender Jake Clarke-Salter brought the Venezuelan down, forcing the referee into the decision to give a penalty. It was Watford youngster Penaranada who stepped up but with the chance to equalise, his spot kick was saved brilliantly by the left hand of heroic England keeper Freddie Woodman, and the ball was hoofed clear.
The Young Lions then held on valiantly to give England its first World Cup win with any age group since the famous victory of 1966.
Congratulations to Paul Simpson, his players and all the staff involved with the Under 20s set up. Going all the way and winning the tournament is an outstanding achievement.