England U20s win World Cup opener

England v Argentina

England began their Under-20 World Cup campaign in South Korea with a 3-0 victory over an Argentina side reduced to 10 men after the intervention of a video assistant referee.

Lautaro Martinez was sent off after the video assistant spotted him elbowing Fikayo Tomori and alerted the referee.

Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin headed the opener, Newcastle’s Adam Armstrong added a second and Chelsea’s Dominic Solanke scored a late penalty.

It was a first finals win since 1997.

Paul Simpson’s side now face Guinea on Tuesday before a game against hosts South Korea next Friday.

“The difference between the two teams was that we were outstanding in both 18-yard boxes,” he said.

“It’s not just about possession, it’s about taking your chances and doing the other side of it as well.”

Video reviews are being trialled at this competition, and may be introduced in some competitions in England next season.

They have previously been used to correct two wrong decisions as Spain beat France in a friendly in Paris in March, as well as in domestic leagues.

Last September, Willem’s Anouar Kali was the first player to be shown a red card on the advice of a video referee in a Dutch Cup contest against Ajax.

England U17s beaten on penalties

Joel Latibeaudiere<!–

Meanwhile, England Under-17s came agonisingly close to lifting the European Championship trophy in Croatia on Friday.

England Under-17s coach Steve Cooper said he was proud of his side despite a penalty shootout defeat by Spain in the final.

Cooper’s side had been seconds from victory when Nacho Diaz scored a stoppage-time equaliser with the last touch.

Spain defender Mateu Morey cancelled out Callum Hudson-Odoi’s opener, before Phil Foden’s second-half strike had restored England’s lead.

But in a new penalty shootout format Spain triumphed 4-1 to clinch victory.

“We’ve had a fantastic tournament and a fantastic season, which I’ve said to the players,” said Cooper.

“We managed to take the lead and tried to see the game out, but I don’t think anybody would have written that script at the end of the game. It hurts.”

The new shootout format being trialled in the tournament sees an ‘ABBA’ system rather than the traditional ABAB pattern – it is similar to the tie-break format in tennis and is designed to make the shootouts fairer.

England were aiming to become the first nation to win the competition for a third time having triumphed in 2010 and 2014, but it was Spain who clinched a third tournament victory instead.

Despite the defeat, England secured qualification for the Under-17 World Cup in India in October. The draw for the group stages takes place on 7 July in Mumbai.

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