England beats Venezuela to lift U20 World Cup for 1st time


England won their first Federation Internationale de Football Association world title for 51 years in Suwon, South Korea after their U20s overcame Venezuela in the final 1-0.

"We knew when we came to Korea that we had a chance if we played like we knew we could", England coach Paul Simpson said.

Following a slow start, the game was lit up by an audacious long-range effort after 16 minutes from Venezuela's Ronaldo Lucena, whose swerving, dipping free-kick from all of 40 metres clipped the outside of a post.

Although England hosts the world's richest soccer competition - the Premier League - playing time for young homegrown players like Calvert-Lewin can be limited as the their places in teams are taken by imported players.

England sensed blood before the half was finished as Calvert-Lewin got in behind again, only for Farinez to save with his legs.

England's Under-20 World Cup heroes played a total of 1,094 Premier League minutes between them last season - equivalent to about 12 full matches.

On a personal level, Freddie Woodman kept yet another clean sheet today, a brilliant penalty save with 14 minutes remaining, crushing Venezuela's hopes.

Dominic Solanke followed in the footsteps of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Paul Pogba in winning the tournament's Golden Ball prize, having recently turned down a new Chelsea contract in search of first-team opportunities at Liverpool. However, for now, at least England can finally say that they are World Champions at some level for the first time in over 50 years.

Southgate said: "A couple of years ago we made a big decision to improve the games programme to give our younger teams better experience of playing teams from around the world".

Venezuela pushed hard for an equaliser early in the second half, but England almost hit them on the counter attack when Josh Onomah rattled the crossbar with a powerful long-range strike.

"It's an incredible feeling and I don't think it will ever go away".

Fresh from Saturday's frantic World Cup qualifying draw against old foes Scotland, the Three Lions have returned to the country that previous year witnessed one of their lowest moments. His work-rate stood out and when England needed someone to drop deep and do the dirty work to defend the one-goal advantage, he was ready to put in the effort.

After the break, Woodman did well to come off his line and foil Sergio Cordova after a superb pass from substitute Yeferson Soteldo.Woodman saves the penalty from Penaranda.

Kane is set to lead England in their next game - a friendly in France on Tuesday. Adalberto Penaranda was brought down in the penalty area by Kyle Walker-Peters and the referee pointed to the spot but then referred the incident to the video referee.

Freddie Woodman, the Newcastle United goalkeeper, said: "To be champions of the world - it is awesome".