England’s forward Dominic Solanke (#10) celebrates his goal with teammates during the U-20 World Cup semi-final football match between England and Italy in Jeonju on June 8, 2017. JUNG Yeon-Je / AFP
England’s Dominic Solanke was yesterday named the most valuable player of the FIFA U-21 World Cup, which the Three Lions won by defeating Venezuela 1-0. The win is England’s biggest international title since 1966.
It was England’s first appearance in the final of a global tournament since their World Cup victory 51 years ago.
Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s first-half goal was enough for victory thanks to Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman’s second-half penalty save.
Woodman denied Adalberto Penaranda from the spot after the Malaga forward was fouled by Kyle Walker-Peters.
With 17 minutes to play, the referee pointed to the spot to signal a penalty before immediately referring to the video assistant referee.
The decision stood – there was the slightest of contacts – but Newcastle keeper Woodman’s strong palm kept out Penaranda’s effort.
In the first half Ronaldo Lucena hit the post with an audacious long-range free-kick that had Woodman well beaten, while Tottenham midfielder Josh Onomah saw a powerful effort strike the underside of the Venezuela bar after the break.
After the match, Solanke, due to join Liverpool from Chelsea on July 1, was awarded the Golden Ball given to the player of the tournament. Previous winners of the award include Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Luis Figo, Paul Pogba and Sergio Aguero.
Woodman was awarded the Golden Glove, given to best goalkeeper of the tournament.
It is the biggest global tournament in youth football and already, England has started dreaming of winning the bigger World Cup trophy with these set of players soon.
The last Under-20 World Cup in 2015 was won by Serbia, who beat a Brazil side containing Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus in the final. Six of Serbia’s 21-man squad have since made a full international debut, including Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic.