Following up on an impressive showing against Mexico in the quarter-finals of the U-20 World Cup, Liverpool new boy Dominic Solanke did one better against Italy, bagging two goals in a resounding 3-1 win to send the Young Lions through to the tournament’s show-piece event.
It was an all Merseyside affair with three second half goals — a fine effort from Everton man Ademola Lookman sandwiched between Solanke’s brace — seeing Paul Simpson’s side through to what will be England’s first world final at any level since their famous World Cup triumph over West Germany back in 1966.
Video courtesy of @MrBoywunder
“I have played with Dom (Solanke) through the age groups since we were 17,” said Liverpool attacker Sheyi Ojo, who provided two assists on the night. He works very hard for the team and if you want goals, Dom’s the guy. He will be a great addition for Liverpool,” added the Reds youngster. “Coming into the tournament, the goal was to win the World Cup. We have played well, but I don’t think we have played to our maximum yet. There are a lot of good players in the squad. As individuals and a team we just want to do everything we can now on Sunday,” added Ojo, brimming with confidence. “We know what we want to do.”
England will come up against a Venezuela in the final on Sunday — a country who have never qualified for a full World Cup. Securing progression through to the final with a nervy penalty shoot-out win over fellow South American side Uruguay, they go in to the weekend serious under-dogs, but without the massive pressure on the shoulders of Paul Simpson’s side. Let’s see if the Young Lions, and the Liverpool contingent in particular, are up to the challenge…