Tuesday 20 February 2018

How did England's under-20 World Cup win compare with 1966?

England are world champions for the first time in a long while.

By Max McLean

England’s 1-0 win against Venezuela in the Under-20 World Cup final in South Korea was the country’s first World Cup win since 1966, and it was worth waiting for.

But with over 50 years separating the triumphs of ’66 and 2017, how do the two finals compare?


Well there’s no way to spin this. The team of ’66 scored four in a thrilling game that ended 4-2, including a Geoff Hurst hat-trick, while England’s under-20s needed just one goal to beat Venezuela.

The finish in question came when Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin put the ball in the net at the second time of asking, and England managed to hold onto that lead for an hour.

But did a lack of goals make for a dull final?


Despite just the one goal, this was a final full of intrigue and quality, with numerous Venezuela players impressing.

Furthermore, the 90 minutes might not have been chock full of goals, but it was not a game short on incident. With 17 minutes of normal time remaining the referee awarded a penalty to Venezuela with the help of the video assistant referee, before Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman saved from Adalberto Penaranda.

And although goals weren’t the order of the day, that’s not to say they weren’t far off.

What an effort.



England’s 1966 World Cup triumph included one of the most controversial incidents in the history of the final, when Geoff Hurst put England 3-2 up in injury time with a goal that looked as though it might not have crossed the line when it came down off the crossbar.

Thanks to the assistant video referee, incidents such as the penalty awarded to Venezuela in the 2017 Under-20 final were able to be checked, and while we did see the crossbar rattled, you didn’t need the cameras to tell you it hadn’t gone in.

Not a bad try, though.



And of course, at the end of it all the result is the same: England are World Champions.

Obviously the under-20s’ victory won’t receive quite the level of attention England’s senior champions did over 50 years ago, but could this be the platform for a second England World Cup triumph in the near future?

Press Association

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