England needed a draw to qualify for the knockout stages and a win to be group winners, as they faced hosts South Korea in a Friday lunchtime (UK time) kick-off in the Under 20 World Cup finals.
It had been a great start for Adam Armstrong and Freddie Woodman last Saturday as England kicked off in the finals of the Under 20 World Cup, the Newcastle pair helping the Young Lions to a three goal win over Argentina.
The young Newcastle keeper getting a clean sheet and Armstrong scoring a clever goal to make it 2-0.
Tuesday morning (UK) time then saw the England Under 20s play their second match against Guinea, with Steve McClaren’s former Newcastle assistant Paul Simpson surprisingly deciding to make four changes to Saturday’s winning team.
The move backfired as England played out a tame 1-1 draw despite being up against a team they were expected to comfortably beat and who had lost 3-0 to tournament hosts South Korea on Saturday. Armstrong played the first 81 minutes before being subbed and Woodman watched the entire game from the bench.
Today saw Adam Armstrong sit it out but Freddie Woodman returned, one of seven changes as Paul Simpson fully uses his squad.
This time the selection proved spot on, with England the better team and defeating the hosts 1-0, South Korea having previously beaten both Argentina and Guinea.
A Kieran Dowell goal on 56 minutes won the game and Freddie Woodman confidently dealt with any threat from South Korea.
England and the Newcastle pair now move on to next Wednesday (31 May) when they will meet the team who finishes third in Group C, a group that is still to be decided, though it is likely to be either Iran or Portugal.
If England win then they will be into the quarter-finals – with five days until that match and it being a straight knockout all or nothing game, Paul Simpson will surely pick his strongest eleven.
England 1 South Korea 0
England Under 20s:
Woodman, Kenny, Onomah, Tomori, Maitland-Niles (Solanke), Walker-Peters, Ejaria, Fry, Lookman (Ojo), Dowell, Calvert-Lewin
The tournament is being held between 20 May and 11 June 2017, with 24 competing countries.