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Under-20 World Cup: Italy 1-3 England

Sports

England reached the final of the Under-20 World Cup for the first time by coming from behind to beat Italy.

England reached the final of the Under-20 World Cup for the first time by coming from behind to beat Italy.

Paul Simpson's side dominated the second half with new Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke scoring twice through a calm equaliser and a long-range strike.

Everton's Ademola Lookman netted the second, tucking home a finish from six yards out on 77 minutes.

England will play Venezuela, who beat Uruguay, in Sunday's final in South Korea (kick-off 11:00 BST).

Italy had taken the lead within the first two minutes when Juventus winger Riccardo Orsolini slotted home from inside the area.

But England created chance after chance in the second half to become the nation's first men's team to reach any World Cup final since the senior side in 1966.

England finished top of their group, which included a thumping 3-0 win over six-time champions Argentina.

Manager Simpson had told BBC Sport before the match that reaching the final would be "massive" and their approach and style of play is "changing everyone's perception of English football".

The scoreline could have been even more emphatic but Solanke flicked a header wide and forced Italy goalkeeper Andrea Zaccagno into a fine save, while Sheyi Ojo struck the outside of the post with a curled effort.

On fire - reaction:

Former England striker Gary Lineker: "Great stuff from England Under-20s, reaching the World Cup final. The future brightens."

England goalkeeper Jack Butland: "Great work by the England U20s, keep up the momentum and bring it home."

Former England defender Jamie Carragher: "Lookman & Solanke goals, England U20's on fire!!"

Former England full-back Phil Neville: "Some bloody good young players in this England U20 team."

Is this the country's next golden generation?

The current side have made a total of 72 Premier League appearances to date. Striker Adam Armstrong leads the way with 15, having made his top-flight debut as a late substitute in Newcastle's 1-0 defeat by Fulham on 15 March 2014.

Everton's Kieran Dowell and Liverpool's Sheyi Ojo made no senior league appearances this season but both represented their teams in the 2015-16 Premier League campaign.

Teams:

Italy U20: Zaccagno, Scarlera, Dimarco, Romagna, Coppolaro, Orsolini, Mandragora, Pessina, Vitale, Panico, Favilli. 

Substitutes: Plizzari, Perisan, Barella, Vido, Sernicola, Pezzella, Cassata, Marchizza, Bifulco.

England U20: Woodman (Newcastle), Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), Tomori (Chelsea), Walker-Peters (Tottenham), Kenny (Everton), Cook (Bournemouth), Calvert-Lewin (Everton), Maitland-Niles (Arsenal), Solanke (Chelsea, joining Liverpool on 1 July), Lookman (Everton), Dowell (Everton).

Substitutes: Henderson (Manchester United), Southwood (Reading), Connolly (Everton), Onomah (Tottenham), Armstrong (Newcastle), Konsa (Charlton), Fry (Middlesbrough), Chapman (Middlesbrough), Ojo (Liverpool), Ejaria (Liverpool).