Freddie Woodman put in a great second half display in South Korea today as the England U20 team beat Venezuela 1-0 to win the U20 World Cup for the first time ever.
And this is the first time England have been in any World Cup final since back in the day, when we hammered West Germany 4-2 after extra time to win the World Cup in 1966 for the first and only time.
The Newcastle goalkeeper not only showed he is a top class young goalkeeper, but also that he has the temperament when he brilliantly saved a late penalty dubiously given to Venezuela with just 15 minutes remaining in the tense game.
Watford forward Adalberto Penaranda tried to smash the ball down the middle from the penalty spot, but it was Woodman who brilliantly saved the spot kick after diving to his right and he was England’s hero in the biggest match of his career.
Great players are those who can play great when the chips are down and young Woodman has shown today he really is a great player in the making at Newcastle.
It was Dominic Calvert Lewin of Everton who put England ahead in the game in the first half with a good goal after 35 minutes and England were ahead 1-0 at the break.
But then Venezuela came storming back in the second half and England had to thank Woodman for some very good saves as Venezuela put on the pressure on and almost overrun the England team at times.
But it was a great display from the England youngsters as they stubbornly defended and were able to win the game 1-0 and a clean sheet for young Woodman.
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) June 11, 2017
After the game former England center-back Rio Ferdinand said:
“Congrats to all the @England U20s lads… some real talent within the squad… let’s give them a chance at club level!”
England’s record goalscorer and former captain Wayne Rooney added:
“Congratulations to @England U20’s who are World Cup winners. What an achievement lads.”
Gary Lineker said:
“England’s Under-20s have won the World Cup. What a brilliant week it’s been for the youth of our nation. Congratulations.”
And not surprisingly Freddie Woodman won the Golden Glove award and the very impressive Dominic Solanke, who will sign for Liverpool from Chelsea on July 1 when the transfer window officially opens for business, won the Player of the Tournament award.
It’s great to see England win again, especially when we almost lost yesterday to the auld enemy Scotland in World Cup qualifying, but for a last minute goal from captain Harry Kane.
Woodman will have done himself no harm at all with another excellent performance for England and we could see the 20 year-old as Newcastle’s number one in a short two years.
Congratulations also go out to local lad Adam Armstrong, who played his part in the England win and the run to the final, but didn’t manage to get on the pitch for the final.
England: 1 Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United); 2 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), 5 Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), 6 Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), 14 Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham Hotspur); 4 Lewis Cook (capt; Bournemouth), 7 Josh Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur); 11 Ademola Lookman (Everton), 10 Dominic Solanke (Chelsea), 18 Kieran Dowell (Everton); 16 Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
Substitutes: 19 Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool) for Dowell 62, 8 Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) for Lookman 76
Substitutes not used: 13 Dean Henderson (Manchester United), 21 Luke Southwood (Reading), 3 Callum Connolly (Everton), 9 Adam Armstrong (Newcastle United), 12 Ezri Konsa (Charlton Athletic), 15 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), 17 Harry Chapman (Middlesbrough), 20 Ovie Ejaria (Liverpool)
Coach: Paul Simpson
Goals: Calvert-Lewin 35
Venezuela: 1 Wuilker Farinez; 2 Williams Velasquez, 4 Nahuel Ferraresi, 5 Jose Hernandez, 20 Ronald Hernandez; 8 Yangel Herrera (capt), 16 Ronaldo Lucena; 7 Adalberto Penaranda, 9 Ronaldo Pena, 11 Ronaldo Chacon, 19 Sergio Cordova
Substitutes: 10 Yeferson Soteldo for Chacon 52, 15 Samuel Sosa for Cordova 72, 13 Jan Hurtado for Penaranda 90+3
Substitutes not used: 12 Joel Graterol, 21 Rafael Sanchez, 3 Eduin Quero, 6 Christian Makoun, 14 Heber Garcia, 17 Josua Mejias, 18 Luis Ruiz
Coach: Rafael Dudamel
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands)