FIFA U-20 World Cup record
Korea Republic 2017 may well be England’s 11th trip to the finals, but they are still yet to reach a final, with it being 24 years since they last made it past the round of 16. Their best result came at Australia 1993, when a 2-1 win over the hosts saw the Young Lions clinch a podium finish and a bronze medal. Their last outing at Turkey 2013 was much less successful. Featuring now-senior regulars Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Ross Barkley and John Stones, England disappointed as the exited at the group stage with just two points to their name.
The road to Korea Republic
The first qualifiers to make it to the latest edition of the U-20 World Cup, England impressed as they went on to top their group at the UEFA European Under-19 Championship. Chelsea youngster Dominic Solanke – joint-top scorer as they triumphed in the Under-17 edition two years earlier – shone, scoring against both France and Netherlands. Blues team-mate Isaiah Brown also struck twice, including a late winner against the Dutch which effectively sealed their passage to the global finals, the second of those goals setting up their third 2-1 win of the group stage against Croatia, setting up a semi-final clash with Italy. However, Aidy Boothroyd’s side found themselves on the wrong side of that same scoreline, as a Federico Dimarco double sent them home, albeit with their Korea Republic ticket already in hand.
Boothroyd, despite only being 45, had already had well over a decade’s experience in senior management, having led Watford to the English Premier League during his first full season in charge of a club back in 2006 – seeing him touted as one of the country’s upcoming coaching stars. After one season in the top flight, Boothroyd has spent the following years leading sides within the lower divisions of English professional football, before being appointed as part of the national team’s youth set-up after they missed out on a spot at New Zealand 2015.
20 – When England arrive in Korea Republic it will be a month shy of the 20th anniversary of their last victory at a U-20 World Cup. A solitary goal from future Ballon d’Or winner Michael Owen saw them pick up three points against Mexico on 23 June 1997, and have been waiting for another win ever since – playing 17 games in the process.