Fikayo Tomori, Jake Clarke-Salter, and Dominic Solanke all started for England in their opening match of the 2017 U20 World Cup in South Korea earlier today, helping the Three Lions record a famous 3-0 victory over Argentina. Strong rearguard action combined with clinical finishing meant that England recorded their first win in this competition for 20 years (the U20 World Cup is held every two years) — a 17-year-old Michael Owen’s goal was the only tally in a 1-0 group stage win over Mexico.
GOAL for Dom Solanke, a stoppage time penalty to make it 3-0 and secure a first win for #ENGU20 at the World Cup since 1997. Fabulous start.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) May 20, 2017
Argentina controlled the run of play for most of the match, but could not turn their possession into goals largely thanks to the efforts of the two central defenders, Tomori and Clarke-Salter, sweeping up any and all balls in the air or on the ground. At the other end, Solanke started in a more supporting role but was move to center forward in the second-half where he had much more impact. Eventually he got his goal as well with a most coolly taken stoppage-time penalty.
How cool was that?!@DomSolanke slots home from the spot to make it 3-0 to @England pic.twitter.com/7RjiObPor2— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) May 20, 2017
By that time Argentina had been reduced to 10 men, after Lautaro Martínez got his marching orders for a flailing elbow into the face of Tomori. What was even more noteworthy than the decision was the method itself, with the referee getting the call from the video-assistant (VAR) after the incident was initially ignored and play was allowed to go on. The future is here!
Video Technology makes its first big impact— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) May 20, 2017
Martinez sees red for a flailing elbow pic.twitter.com/36knqYRwqT
Next up for England will be a group stage match against Guinea U20 on Tuesday. The top two of the four-team group automatically qualify. Having vanquished perennially strong Argentina, England are in great position to advance already.