Four players with Nigerian blood Fikori Tomori, Dominic Solanke, Ademola Lookman and Josh Onomah all started on Sunday in Suwon as England defeated Venezuela 1-0 to win the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea, England’s first-ever world title at that level, Completesportsnigeria com reports.
Liverpool pair Ovie Ejaria and Seyi Ojo, who also have Nigerian parents, started from the bench but it was only the latter who eventually came on in the course of the game.
The win in Sunday’s final meant England have won their second title at a global tournament after the senior Three Lions won the 1966 World Cup.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored England’s goal in the first half.
Solanke on four goals in the tournament bore down on goal in the fifth minute but was stopped in his tracks by the vigilant Venezuelan defence.
The Liverpool-bound striker was denied another shot at goal in the tenth minute but his effort only got his team a corner kick.
Solanke found Everton forward Lookman with a beautiful pass in the 22nd minute but his rasping shot only won the English team a corner as Venuezeula goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez pushed the ball out.
Venezuela found it hard penetrating the defence of England and were limited to long range shots especially from Adalberto Penaranda and Ronaldo Chacon while Rinaldo Lucena’s freekick hit the upright.
Chelsea defender Tomori sent a long punt with half an hour played which Solanke chased but Venezuelan keeper Farinez punched the ball out.
Everton’s Calvert-Lewin broke the deadlock and put England ahead in the 35th minute when he pounced on a rebound after the Venezuelan keeper had initially smothered the ball.
Venezuela’s danger man Penaranda’s 43rd minute powerful freekick missed target by a whisker and the first half ended with England 1-0 up.
Tomori was yellow-carded in the 48th minute for a foul on Penaranda.
Skilful midfielder Yerferson Soltedo who came off the bench in the second half almost produced an assist for Venezuela but his fantastic pass to Sergio Cordoba was saved.
Onomah unleashed a great strike but the ball hit the underside of the crossbar.
Ojo replaced Kieran Dowell in the 62nd minute of the final and three minutes later, Lookman’s freekick flew to the top of the Venezuelan goalpost.
The game was stopped momentarily with about 22 minutes to go as Solanke received treatment after a clash of heads with his marker left him bleeding.
Penaranda’s 73rd minute penalty was saved by England goalkeeper Freddie Woodman after the referee had to seek clarification from the Video Assistant Referees (VAR) after Penaranda was bundled to the ground.