England won their biggest international title since 1966 by beating Venezuela 1-0 in the Under-20 World Cup final yesterday.
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, England forward Dominic Solanke, due to join Liverpool from Chelsea on 1 July, 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.
“Thankfully Freddie saved the penalty. I was watching through my fingers from the halfway line and it was an incredible moment. It was a big, big moment that helped turn the game,” said Calvert-Lewin, who joined Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters as the only Englishmen to score in a World Cup final.
“To be one of only three Englishman to have scored in a World Cup final is amazing.”
It is the biggest global tournament in youth football and has helped launch the career of a number of big names in football.
Barcelona forward Messi was in the Argentina team that won the 2005 event (then called the FIFA World Youth Championship), while Portuguese great Figo inspired his country to victory in the 1989 and 1991 competitions.
England’s team in 2013 – the last time they competed in the event – featured Ross Barkley, John Stones, Harry Kane and Eric Dier. They failed to win a game and finished bottom of their group.
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.