Ten-man England reached the semi-finals of the Under-20 World Cup for the first time in 24 years following a 1-0 quarter-final victory over Mexico in Cheonan.
Liverpool-bound striker Dominic Solanke scored the only goal of the game early in the second half before Tottenham’s Josh Onomah was sent off in bizarre circumstances in the 73rd minute, but England held on for a place in the last four.
Paul Simpson’s side began the match on the front foot with Everton forward Ademola Lookman and Newcastle striker Adam Armstrong spurning decent opportunities inside the first 15 minutes before Mexico captain Alan Cervantes struck a 20-yard free-kick wide as neither side could break the deadlock in a tight opening 45 minutes.
Two minutes after the break, Solanke put the Young Lions ahead with a composed left-footed strike after being played through by a slide-rule pass from captain Lewis Cook for his second goal of the tournament.
Everton’s Kieran Dowell was inches away from doubling England’s lead moments later with Onomah then curling an effort onto a post with Mexican goalkeeper Abraham Romero well beaten.
Onomah received a second yellow card after accidentally stepping on Juan Aguayo’s heel whilst dribbling past the left-back to put England under pressure before late chances from Uriel Antuna and Ronaldo Cisneros went begging for Mexico.
The Young Lions will take on Italy in Jeonju on Thursday evening for a place in the final after the 10-man Azzurri needed extra-time to secure a 3-2 win over Zambia following Giuseppe Pezzella’s dismissal via a video assistant referee review in the first half of normal time.
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