England will play in the final of the Under-20 World Cup for the first time when it plays Venezuela in Sunday's final of the 2017 tournament in Suwon.
The English will be the underdogs
against La Vinotinto, which beat Uruguay on penalty kicks, but reaching the final is quite an accomplishment for a team that only made it to the semifinals of the U-20 World Cup twice before (1981 and
1993). On top of that, England has never made the final four of the U-17 World Cup.
A great second-half performance gave England the win over Italy, which had knocked out France, the
European champion and pre-tournament favorite, in the round of 16. Dominic Solanke
scored twice to lead England to the win. He had not played first-team club soccer in 2016-17 in a
contract dispute with Chelsea after playing on loan to Dutch club Vitesse the year before. He'll play next season for Liverpool for a transfer fee to be set by a tribunal.
had the winner for England's U-20s, who are playing in the final of a world championship for the first time since England won the 1966 World Cup.
“We have to
go and win to really put our name into the history books of English football,” said England coach Paul Simpson
. “I am the proudest man I could ever be. It is just a dream to take an
England team to a World Cup final. I was born in 1966 and that is the last time we did it.
“We now want to go and make sure we do ourselves justice in the final. We are delighted to
be in it. I have said from the first day I got with these players how greedy we are. I said we want to go and win the final I don’t just want to go and make the numbers up. I want to go and win
The U-20s' success follows the run of the English U-17s, who lost to Spain on penalty kicks in this year's UEFA final and will play in the U-17 World Cup in October in India.