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The FA

Mexico 0-1 England

Dominic Solanke sends Young Lions into U20 World Cup semi-final

Monday 05 Jun 2017

Dominic Solanke’s second-half strike secured England’s place in the FIFA U20 World Cup semi-final for the first time since 1993.

There was nothing between the two teams in the first half, but the Young Lions flew out of the traps after the break and Solanke struck within seconds of the restart – his second goal of the tournament.

It was hardly plain-sailing for Paul Simpson’s team though, particularly after Josh Onomah’s dubious red card.

Mexico 0-1 England
  • FIFA U20 World Cup
  • Quarter-Final
  • Monday 5 June 2017
  • Cheonan Sports Complex, Korea

But they held firm and will now meet Italy on Thursday in Jeonju, kick-off 12pm (BST).

England were unable to create a clear-cut chance in the first half, as Mexico defended deep and stifled the Young Lions front four, so fluent through the tournament so far.

It took 35 minutes for either goalkeeper to be forced into a save, with Paolo Yrizar hooking a 25-yard shot across goal that Freddie Woodman palmed away to his right.

England started the second half with purpose though, and on 47 minutes took the lead. Captain Lewis Cook threaded a pass through to Solanke on the edge of the box, who took one touch before his low shot bounced off keeper Abraham Romero’s outstretched leg and into the back of the next.

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Within four minutes the Young Lions had two golden opportunities to double their advantage. A comedy of errors in the Mexican backline culminated with Kieran Dowell’s effort bouncing off Alan Cervantes’s shins toward goal, but Joaquin Esquivel was well-placed to clear off the line.

Then Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Onomah superbly struck a curling effort from 20 yards that Romero flicked onto the post, the keeper then punching the air in celebration.

Mexico had their moments at their other end too, in an action-packed second period that was in complete contrast to the first, Woodman saving both from long-range and denying Esquivel at close quarters.

With 18 minutes left on the clock Onomah saw red for an innocuous looking incident. As he ran with the ball past Juan Aguayo the midfielder stood on the defender’s ankle, a clash referee Mohammed Abdulla Hassan deemed worthy of a second yellow card.

England, on the break, had a chance to make it two with 12 minutes remaining. Solanke burst through the middle and laid the ball off to substitute Dominic Calvert-Lewin to his left, the Everton youngster’s low effort was blocked by Romero at his near post.

Mexico pushed for an equaliser late on as England dropped ever-deeper and held firm to reach the last four.

England: 1 Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United); 2 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), 5 Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), 15 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), 14 Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham Hotspur); 4 Lewis Cook (capt; Bournemouth), 7 Josh Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur); 18 Kieran Dowell (Everton), 10 Dominic Solanke (Chelsea), 11 Ademola Lookman (Everton); 9 Adam Armstrong (Newcastle United)

Substitutes: 16 Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton) for Armstrong 70, 20 Ovie Ejaria (Liverpool) for Lookman 75, 8 Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) for Dowell 90

Substitutes not used: 13 Dean Henderson (Manchester United), 21 Luke Southwood (Reading), 3 Callum Connolly (Everton), 6 Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), 12 Ezri Konsa (Charlton Athletic), 17 Harry Chapman (Middlesbrough), 19 Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool)

Coach: Paul Simpson

Goals: Solanke 47

Yellow cards: Onomah 33

Red cards: Onomah 72

Mexico: 21 Abraham Romero, 3 Edson Alvarez, 4 Juan Aguayo, 5 Manuel Mayorga, 6 Alan Cervantes (capt), 7 Uriel Antuna, 11 Kevin Magana, 14 Joaquin Esquivel, 16 Francisco Venegas, 19 Paolo Yrizar, 20 Eduardo Aguirre

Substitutes: 9 Ronaldo Cisneros for Aguirre 65, 17 Kevin Lara for Esquivel 76, 18 Diego Aguilar for Magana 80

Substitutes not used: 1 Joel Garcia, 12 Fernando Hernandez, 2 Diego Cortes, 8 Pablo Lopez, 10 Claudio Zamudio, 13 Brayton Vazquez, 15 Ulises Torres

Coach: Marco Ruiz

Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Hassan (United Arab Emirates)

By Josh Richards Digital Producer