Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s first-half strike secured Under-20 World Cup glory for England as they beat Venezuela 1-0, although the Young Lions needed Freddie Woodman to secure the trophy with a late penalty save.
By Sports Reporter
Calvert-Lewin broke the deadlock 10 minutes before the break in Suwon, the forward converting at the second attempt to put Paul Simpson’s side ahead in Sunday’s final.
Adalberto Penaranda then missed a spot kick for Venezuela in the 74th minute and England held firm in a nervy finish to be crowned world champions at Under-20 level for the first time.
England made an encouraging start to the game and got early chances to open the scoring via Dominic Solanke and Ademola Lookman, the former being denied by goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez from close range, while the latter also saw his attempt from the edge of the area saved by the shot stopper.
Venezuela then enjoyed a strong spell and Ronaldo Lucena nearly broke the deadlock with an ambitious free kick from 45 yards out, catching Woodman off guard, only to see his shot thud into the left upright.
But it was the Europeans who went a goal up in the 35th minute when Calvert-Lewin beat Farinez at the second time of asking, coolly tapping home the rebound after seeing his initial attempt kept out by the excellent goalkeeper.
Venezuela pushed hard for an equaliser early in the second half, but England nearly hit them on the counter attack when Josh Onomah rattled the crossbar with a powerful long-range strike.
Penaranda should have levelled the scoring when referee Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot after Jake Clarke-Salter had brought down the Venezuela star inside the area, the official using video technology to confirm the awarding of the penalty.
But Newcastle United keeper Woodman pulled off a fine save to deny the Watford-owned forward from 12 yards and help his side create history.
Earlier on Sunday, Italy beat Uruguay on penalties after a goalless draw to secure third place at the tournament in South Korea.