Newcastle keeper modest after man of the match display sends England into semi-finals
Freddie Woodman was star man for England as they progressed to the semi-finals of the Under2 20s World Cup on Monday.
The Young Lions defeated Mexico 1-0 in a hard fought game with Liverpool’s new signing Solanke getting the winning goal.
However, Newcastle’s Freddie Woodman was the man of the match, making some stunning saves in each half to keep a match winning clean sheet.
The final stages saw England down to 10 men after a red card – but the young England keeper was equal to it.
Modestly though, the 20 year old preferred to credit the players in front of him for making his job easier.
Thursday sees a rematch with Italy for a place in Sunday’s final, the Italians having defeated England at the semi-final stage in the 2016 Under 19 European Championships.
“We had to dig in at the end but I thought we played well otherwise.
“The decision didn’t go our way with the sending off, but I felt that we dealt with it well afterwards, and we knew they were going to come at us and put crosses in the box.
“The lads in front of me were excellent and we’re happy with the result, but it’s easy for me when you’ve got a great set of players in front of you, ten guys who are willing to put their body on the line and defend.
“It looks good with the clean sheet for a goalkeeper but it’s about the boys in front of me who make the job easier.
“I just work hard on focusing my emotions and I try to play the game every five minutes, if we get to 95 minutes and we’ve got a result then I’m buzzing.
“I felt like we were always in control, we knew they were going to throw everything at us because it’s the quarter-final of a World Cup, but we just had to keep doing what we were doing.
“We lost that game 2-1 (Under 19s Euro semi-final v Italy in 2016) and it hurt at the time.
“But we had to quickly move on and we’ll just approach it as a World Cup semi-final.
“There’s no sort of revenge, we’re just looking forward to another game, another good opponent and a chance to get to a World Cup final, that’s how we’ll approach it.”
Venezuela 2 USA 1
Portugal 2 Uruguay 2 (Uruguay won 5-4 on penalties)
Italy 3 Zambia 2 (after extra time)
Mexico 0 England 1
Thursday 8 June
Venezuela v Uruguay
Italy v England
3rd/4th Place Play-Off
Sunday 11 June
Sunday 11 June
England Matches so far:
England 3 Argentina 0
England 1 Guinea 1
England 1 South Korea 0
England 2 Costa Rica 1
England 1 Mexico 0
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