- Penalties send Venezuela into first global final
- England hit three to reach first U-20 World Cup showpiece
- Both sides come from behind to see off Uruguay and Italy
THE DAY REPLAYED – There will be new colours all round when FIFA U-20 World Cup final day comes on Sunday 11 June, as Venezuela and England are both set for their maiden trip to the tournament’s climax.
In a pair of continental clashes, La Vinotinto and the Young Lions both came from a goal down to secure their places in Korea Republic 2017’s 52nd match – England with a three-goal fightback, and Venezuela courtesy of a last-minute equaliser and some nail-biting penalties.
Samuel Sosa and goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez were the heroes for the South Americans in defeating Uruguay, while Dominic Solanke and Ademola Lookman orchestrated the fightback for Europe’s final representatives.
Best of three decides South American contender
While Uruguay and Venezuela’s semi-final clash was swung on the head-to-head penalty clash between La Celeste captain Nicolas De La Cruz and Vinotinto stopper Farinez, it was a rivalry held on pause for more than six months. The Uruguayan had seen a cheeky Panenka effort saved in their opening meeting of the Campeonato Sudamericano Sub-20, but made no mistake when striking first in Daejeon. However, Farinez had the last laugh as he dived to his left to stop the skipper’s shootout strike – his fifth from the spot in Korea Republic – and book Venezuela in for a date with destiny.
Better call Sol
Two goals tonight helped Solanke take the starring role in England’s semi-final drama, but Jeonju’s supporting act, Ademola Lookman, has every right to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the forward on the cover of the Young Lions' story to the final. During the knockout stages, the pair have equally split the six goals scored en route to Suwon – a run that leaves Solanke just one behind top scorer Riccardo Orsolini. The Italian had hinted at a second semi-final defeat at the hands of Gli Azzurini in the last 12 months, having seen off England 2-1 in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, but this sequel had a different ending.
First time lucky?
We have all heard of beginner’s luck and Venezuela forward Sosa found the perfect time to enjoy a bout of it. He had never even taken a free-kick for his country, let alone scored one, before being introduced in the 76th minute against Uruguay. You would not have guessed it when he wrapped his foot round the ball as the game entered stoppage time, lashing his effort into the top corner from 25 yards to keep alive their final dream.
"I was seeing the clock in the stadium saying 88, 89 minutes, and I never had the thought that we could lose this match. They have more history but we as a group, as a family, have built a great mentality to play in these games."
Ronald Hernandez, Venezuela
Sunday 11 June
Match for third place
More from Korea Republic
Great stuff from England Under-20s, reaching the World Cup final. The future brightens.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 8, 2017
— Fútbol Femenino FVF (@FemeninoFVF) June 8, 2017