Everton have sent five players to the Under-20 World Cup being held in South Korea as part of the England contingent, and they have performed admirably so far. With a comeback 3-1 win over Italy today in the semi-finals, England are into their first competitive international tournament final since 1966 when they won their only World Cup.
Right back Jonjoe Kenny is arguably the Young Lions Player of the Tournament so far, while Ademola Lookman has been an absolute spark plug on the left wing. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has looked assured in attack while Kieran Dowell has been decent on and off on right side of England’s attacking three. Center back Callum Connolly played in the first two group games of the tournament as well.
England’s path to the final has not been easy, but the team has looked dominant against the international opposition at times. Drawn in a tough Group A against hosts South Korea, Argentina and wildcards Guinea, the Young Lions topped the group with seven points.
Calvert-Lewin scored the first goal of the tournament with a fantastic diving header from a Dowell cross as England beat Argentina 3-0. After a draw with Guinea, Dowell scored the only goal of the game against the hosts.
In the second round, England beat Costa Rica 2-1 with Lookman bagging both goals. A hardfought 1-0 win over Mexico in the quarterfinals got England into a semifinal date with Italy today.
Despite going down early, the Young Lions looked the better side and deserved the win with Lookman scoring England’s winning goal from a goalmouth melee after Calvert-Lewin got his head to a cross.
While his contributions on the pitch are not reflected on the scoresheet, Kenny has been outstanding with his energy on the right. Hard to dispossess and constantly full of running, his partnership with Sheyi Ojo has been a source of attacking prowess and Everton will feel that he is ready to make the step up in the absence of Seamus Coleman to begin the next season.
“We didn’t come to the World Cup just to take part, we’re here to win and that’s what we’re trying to do.
“We’ve been away for four weeks now and we don’t want to spend all that time away from home for nothing.
“We want to win it now, get to the final and hopefully lift the trophy.”
England will take on Venezuela in the finals of the tournament on Sunday, with manager Paul Simpson expressing his satisfaction with how well the team has played.
"There has been a determination about the players from the first day I met up with them.
"It means everything to this group, not only to put the Three Lions shirt on but to bring success ... they all know what it means to the group, the families and people back home.
"We are changing everyone's perception of English football."