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Lookman and Solanke Sends England into first U-20 World Final to play Venezuela

England came from behind to beat Italy 3-1 and advance to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 final thanks to second-half strikes from Dominic Solanke and Ademola Lookman. Riccardo Orsolini fired Italy in front before the clock hit the two-minute mark with a clinical finish from an assist by strike partner Andrea Favilli. The goal, his fifth of the tournament, moved Orsolini to the top of the tournament's goalscoring list.

England responded with a series of attacks through Dominic Solanke and Kieran Dowell, but failed to find the goal before the break.

The Young Lions started the second half in control and eventually their persistence paid off. In the 66th minute, Dominic Solanke calmly slotted a shot in after Andrea Zaccagno parried Sheyi Ojo's cross into his path.

The momentum swung in favour of Paul Simpson's side, and 11 minutes after Solanke's equaliser, Lookman fired in the winning goal. The Everton forward scored his third of the tournament after club team-mate Dominic Calvert-Lewin initially tried to control an Ojo cross with his head, the ball fell to Lookman's and he made no mistake with the finish from close range. Solanke then got his brace, and fourth of the tournament, with a long-range shot that evaded the outstretched arms of Zaccagno and sent the Young Lions to a first-ever U-20 World Cup final.

Venezuela are into the climax of the FIFA U-20 World Cup as they survived a tight all-South American clash to squeeze through to their first ever FIFA final, beating Uruguay 4-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.

The pair are familiar foes, meeting twice in qualifying. Neither had conceded at Korea Republic 2017 until the last eight and, as a result, the game was a well-marshalled one.
Venezuela were the tournament’s top scorers but, besides a spurned header by Nahuel Ferraresi, were largely frustrated. Marcelo Saraachi went closest at the other end, seeing his low effort beaten away by Wuilker Farinez.

While La Vinotinto moved the ball the better, Uruguay got the early second-half break-through, with Nicolas De La Cruz slotting in from the penalty spot after Agustin Canobbio had been felled. It should have been two moments later, but a stunning save by Farinez denied Nicolas Schiappacasse from point-blank range.

Venezuela probed but the blue wall was firm in the face of burgundy pressure. Sergio Cordova spurned a great chance to head his fifth of the tournament but substitute Samuel Sosa saved the day. In injury-time, he slammed home a 25-yard free-kick to take the game beyond 90 minutes.

Yeferson Soteldo and Cordova both tested Santiago Mele in the Uruguay goal in extra-time, before Farinez had to throw out a leg to deny Federico Valverde from audaciously scoring direct from a corner. He was forced to superbly deny the Real Madrid man again, this time from a free-kick before Jan Hurtado so nearly won it, rattling the post. But it went to penalties and, with both sides seeing an effort missed, it was Uruguay captain De La Cruz who could not convert for the second time on the night.

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