Venezuela U20 0-1 England U20: Young Lions lift World Cup to make history

Venezuela U20 0-1 England U20: Young Lions lift World Cup to make history

A first-half Dominic Calvert-Lewin goal and a Freddie Woodman save from a Venezuela penalty put this England under-20 side into the history books. World Champions.

harry-robinson
Harry Robinson
Venezuela U20Farinez; Hernandez, Ferraresi, Velasquez, Hernandez; Cordova (Sosa '71), Lucena, Herrera, Peñaranda; Peña, Chacon (Soteldo '51).
England U20Woodman (c), Kenny, Clarke-Salter, Tomori, Walker-Peters; Cook, Onomah (Maitland-Niles '75), Dowell (Ojo '62); Calvert-Lewin, Solanke, Lookman.
SCORE0-1, min. 35, Calvert-Lewin.
INCIDENTSAttendance: 30,346

Technically gifted, physically strong, intelligent, England's under-20 made history as they lifted the U20 World Cup in South Korea on Sunday after beating a truly talented Venezuelan side.

Believers in the England DNA will be beaming after the Football Association's 2014-launched philosophy was on full show in a fantastic performance. Dominic Calvert-Lewin became the third Englishman in football history to score in a World Cup final with a cool first-half finish. Freddie Woodman became the second hero of the evening, denying the impressive Adalberto Peñarando from the penalty spot with a strong hand despite diving the wrong way.

England are World Champions

This is under-20 football. But this achievement cannot be understated. England have one star above their badge. This will not add another one, but it is a proud day for a nation who have underachieved on the international football stage for half a century. The U20 World Cup Final is the biggest game in youth football.

Fans in South Korea's Suwon World Cup Stadium were treated to an end-to-end game of the highest quality. Venezuela; individualistic talent gloriously fearless, typical of a South American side. England; slick, well organised, but streaks of individual brilliance.

Josh Onomah, suspended for England's semi-final victory, came back into the side over Ainsley Maitland-Niles and was England's best player, at the heart of everything, fluently bringing together attack and defence.

Ademola Lookman and Dominic Solanke, who may face off in the Merseyside Derby next season after the latter left Chelsea to sign for Liverpool, were a wonderful partnership in attack.

10 minutes in, both had threatened Venezuela's defence with powerful runs, helping each other by dragging the defence wider, creating space. With quality with both feet, Lookman stormed through two players, a quick tap on either foot and ending up on the other side, leaving both Venezuelans staring at his shirt number. That move summed England up. He lost the ball, but as soon as Venezuela counter-attacked, Lewis Cook was in a position to intercept and restart England's pressure on the Venezuelan goal.

Solanke had both of England's first chances, and scuffed the pair. Venezuela targeted the wide areas, frequently storming past England's full-backs and cutting back. But Woodman was already ready to intercept or England's midfielders, disciplined positionally, were prepared to clear.

Ronaldo Peña struck well over Woodman's crossbar. Venezuela shot from any distance. Lucena would later have a free-kick from 40 yards crack off the post. England's moves were more patient. A Lookman shimmy gave him a couple of yards of space, he fizzed a pass to Solanke, received it back off him having covered half the pitch and struck it cleanly to earn a corner.

Calvert-Lewin scores opener

Calvert-Lewin, who had scuffed a shot from a corner on the half volley earlier, was England's history-maker. PersisPersistentrmined, calm. He rose above his marker from a free-kick, shaped his body for the shot, drove it home. Farinez stuck out a strong hand but the rebound fell to Calvert-Lewin, positively chasing the ball despite his miss moments earlier, and he cooly slotted it to the right of Farinez for the opener.

The introduction of Soltedo for Venezuela after half-time was instantly impactful. The playmaker fed through Cordova, splitting the England defence. Woodman was quick off his line and Cordova's poor decision-making allowed him to virtually sit on the shot and keep England's lead intact. Soltedo pulled back for Cordova a minute later, but England's midfield had dropped deep to cover the space.

Woodman saves penalty

End-to-end, but somehow no goals. What better chance to level than a penalty. Jake Clarke-Salter felled Peñaranda. The referee consulted the Video Assistant Referee, a process lasting just 38 seconds to check a vital decision. The skilful Venezuelan Peñaranda struck straight down the middle and almost beat Woodman. But a strong hand and fantastic reactions from Woodman denied Peñaranda.

England dropped deeper and deeper. Counter-attacks were on, but Solanke and Calvert-Lewin both lost the ball on the run towards the Venezuelan goal.

Farinez came up for a late corner, received the ball on the edge of the box but the goalkeeper couldn't steer his shot on goal. Moments earlier, Lucena made a fantastic last-ditch tackle to keep his side in the game.

England held on despite irresponsible long shots to try and chip Farinez in the last minute, losing the ball twice.

It's a historic day for England, a momentous day, a fantastic day. The under-20s are champions of the World.

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