De Futebol

England wins the Under Twenty World Cup. The Guardians Ben Fisher:’ England Under-20s entered the history books after beating Venezuela in a frenetic World Cup final in South Korea to ensure the nation became world champions for the first time since 1966.

Lewis Cook held the trophy aloft after becoming the first England captain to lead his country to victory in a major global final since Sir Bobby Moore. A white sea of confetti slowly filled the pitch, with each England player taking hold of the trophy on the stage swiftly erected in Suwon to kick-start the celebrations.

Fikayo Tomori, the Chelsea defender, sang “championes, championes” with his winners’ medal swaying from side to side. For Joshua Onomah and Ainsley Maitland-Niles, England banners doubled up as celebratory bandanas. More than 5,600 miles away Gareth Southgate, Adam Lallana and the rest of the senior squad huddled around a laptop at their France training base – before Tuesday’s friendly in Paris – to witness the next generation write history.

Southgate will speak to Paul Simpson, the under-20s manager, after the win and has kept regular dialogue during the tournament. The squad also received a pre-match good luck letter from the Duke of Cambridge.

Freddie Woodman was ultimately the hero after making a superb 74th-minute penalty save to deny Adalberto Peñaranda. Woodman, the son of former Northampton Town goalkeeper Andy and godson of Southgate, made a steely left-handed save from the spot-kick after Dominic Calvert-Lewin had given England a first-half lead.

Simpson, the former Shrewsbury Town manager, had urged his players to seize the opportunity and attain “legendary status” and with this victory in Suwon his class of 2017 did not disappoint. Calvert-Lewin began this season as a second-half substitute for Sheffield United in a 2-1 domestic cup competition defeat by Crewe Alexandra but finished it as only the third England player to score in a World Cup final. Calvert-Lewin, who joined Everton last summer, scored what proved to be the winning goal before Woodman’s second-half heroics.

These are exciting times for England and particularly for this group. Six of this side won the Under-17s European Championship in 2014 and the attacking trio from Everton and Liverpool – Ademola Lookman, Dominic Solanke and Calvert-Lewin – had an excellent tournament. Solanke was presented with the golden boot and Woodman with the golden glove. Each player, though, proved more than their worth over a campaign that began when Simpson’s squad convened at St George’s Park on 8 May. Perhaps these are some of the fruits of the FA’s purpose-built 330-acre site at Burton-on-Trent.

Simpson tweaked his lineup from the one that prevailed against Italy in the semi-finals, with Tottenham’s Onomah returning from suspension to replace Arsenal’s Maitland-Niles. Onomah strutted around the England midfield with a classy authority and rattled the woodwork with a thunderous second-half effort that pinballed from the underside of the bar and the goalline before Venezuela cleared.

England played positive, attacking football and Solanke, who will formally join Liverpool from Chelsea next month,squandered a couple of early chances, scuffing his shot inside the box and skewing wide from distance with another. He then turned provider, laying off to Lookman, who held off a challenge before forcing Wuilker Faríñez, the Venezuela goalkeeper, into a two-handed save after 22 minutes.

Venezuela did not shrink into their shells, however, and Ronaldo Lucena’s ambitious free-kick from 40 yards out exemplified the confidence flowing through Rafael Dudamel’s side, who beat Germany and Uruguay en route to the final. Woodman was beaten but Lucena’s swerving, dipping effort crashed into his right post.

Dudamel’s involvement is a compliment to the country’s next generation, given he is also the coach of Venezuela’s senior team, who already have eyes on the 2022 World Cup after a disastrous qualifying campaign for Russia 2018.

England kept knocking at the door, though, with Calvert-Lewin sending a tame header at goal before Cook, the Bournemouth midfielder, supplied the striker with a lofted pass. It was a goal that showcased all of the 20-year-old’s qualities as he outjumped Nahuel Ferraresi to win the header and shot at Faríñez with his right foot before slotting home the rebound with his left. Shortly after that Lookman supplied Calvert-Lewin with another chance but Faríñez did well to quickly stifle the onrushing striker.

Venezuela never relented and Peñaranda sent a curling 25-yard free-kick agonisingly close but the Watford midfielder, with unmissable bleach-blond hair, saw his effort fly just wide of Woodman’s goal. After the half-time interval, the South American side went on the offensive. The substitute Yeferson Soteldo slid through a perfectly weighted ball for Sergio Córdova but with only the goalkeeper to beat, Woodman smothered with his legs. Then Yangel Herrera, who joined Manchester City in January – unmarked from a corner – headed downward only for Woodman to again claim the ball.

Venezuela, who introduced the exciting 17-year-old Samuel Sosa late on, pressed forward and eventually carved out a golden opportunity to level. Jake Clarke-Salter, the Chelsea defender, upended Peñaranda inside the box and after consulting the threesome of video officials inside the Suwon World Cup stadium, the referee, Bjorn Kuipers, pointed to the spot. Woodman denied Peñaranda from 12 yards, with the England goalkeeper, who dived low to his right, making a strong left-handed save to claw the ball away from danger. And just like that, after this courageous, fearless display, an arduous 51-year wait is over.

Brasil wins! The guys are at the head of the class


Brasil defeated Venezuela 2-0 to jump to the head of the class with 21 points. Uruguay and Colombia tied two all to drop the Uruguayans into second place with 20 points.

The big surprise was Argentina losing to Paraguay 1-0. Argentinos is fifth place with 16 points.

The top four places earn the automatic berth in the World Cup while fifth place earns a berth in the play in match to see who gets a World Cup berth.


UOL: Os 100% de aproveitamento com Tite já permitiram à seleção brasileira dar um salto na classificação das Eliminatórias da Copa do Mundo. Nesta terça-feira, em Mérida, o Brasil fez 2 a 0 contra a Venezuela e, beneficiado pelo empate do Uruguai em visita à Colômbia, alcançou a primeira posição com 21 pontos.


A exemplo do que ocorreu nos últimos dois jogos, o Brasil comprovou sua boa fase logo de cara. Com 8 minutos de jogo, Gabriel Jesus abriu o marcador sobre a Venezuela após um erro bizarro do goleiro Hernández. Seguro em campo apesar de não contar com Neymar, suspenso, o time brasileiro confirmou o triunfo com gol de Willian. A partida chegou a ser paralisada por um apagão.

A seleção brasileira volta a campo contra uma pressionada Argentina em Belo Horizonte no dia 19 de novembro. Na mesma sequência, visita a seleção peruana.


Além de anotar o gol brasileiro, o atacante foi o jogador mais perigoso. Mesmo sem Neymar por perto, o que diminuiu um pouco da presença ofensiva da equipe, Gabriel incomodou os zagueiros venezuelanos e teve pelo menos mais três oportunidades de marcar, além de ter dado assistência a Coutinho. Mas, nada mal: com menos de 20 anos, já tem quatro gols em quatro jogos pela seleção principal, marca inédita em toda a história das Eliminatórias.


Um erro bizarro do goleiro venezuelano na saída de bola permitiu ao Brasil rapidamente abrir o marcador em Mérida com uma bela finalização de Gabriel Jesus.

Na ausência de Neymar, a seleção brasileira obviamente perdeu parte de seu brilho. Por outro lado, teve pelas beiradas dois jogos mais ativos na marcação, com Willian e Coutinho. Assim, bem compacto, o Brasil teve facilidade para controlar o jogo com boa posse de bola, na faixa de 66%, e sofreu poucos sustos na defesa com o time bem ordenado.


Com Guerra, campeão da última Copa Libertadores no banco de reservas, a Venezuela tentou propor o jogo contra o Brasil. A exemplo dos últimos jogos, o garoto Peñaranda foi um dos membros mais ativos e deu trabalho a Daniel Alves. As finalizações ruins, entretanto, minimizaram as chances dos donos da casa, praticamente fora da luta por vaga na Copa do Mundo 2018.


England wins 2-0 in World Cup Qualifying match against Malta


England defeats Malta 2-0 in World Cup qualifying match. The Guardian: “Gareth Southgate has been in the job under a fortnight but already he can be added to the list of England managers whose team have been booed at Wembley. Admittedly it was only a smattering this time, rather than the mutinous soundtrack that accompanied Roy Hodgson’s last match, but the mixed reaction at the final whistle was a pointed reminder that England will need more than a 2-0 victory against Malta before they have retrieved some credibility.

Southgate should probably not take it too personally after being parachuted into the role on an emergency basis, but he could probably be forgiven for wishing that his team had been able to add a few more goals against a Malta side that looked ripe for a good old-fashioned thrashing.


Roberto Mancini was here as a guest and, though it would be a leap of logic to assume the former Manchester City manager is being primed for the job, he is currently out of work and has talked before about fancying a stab at managing England. Southgate needs his team to impress during his four matches as caretaker manager if he is to be offered the job full-time and, on that basis, he must be disappointed his team had to settle for the first-half goals from Daniel Sturridge and Dele Alli.

To put it into context, Malta arrived at Wembley with the grand total of two wins in the last three years, those victories coming against the footballing superpowers of Lithuania and Faroe Islands. Malta’s current position in Fifa’s world rankings, 176th, puts them level with Laos, though just behind Suriname, Vanuatu, Cambodia and Tahiti, and is the lowest they have dropped since the system was devised almost a quarter of a century ago. Scotland have already beaten them 5-1 in this qualifying programme though, in fairness, England could have won even more convincingly had it not been for a splendid performance from Andrew Hogg, Malta’s Surrey-born goalkeeper.

England certainly had enough of the ball to reflect that it should have been a much more emphatic scoreline but, equally, the second half also featured a slightly awkward five-minute spell when the crowd started entertaining themselves, flashing up their mobile phones in the way that people used to wave cigarette lighters at Elton John concerts. An attendance not far off 82,000 is mightily impressive given everything England have endured since they were last here, shortly before Euro 2016, but the crowd undeniably wanted more to help the healing process.


Southgate’s men knew their own superiority and perhaps that explains why they plodded through long spells while also giving the impression that if they could be bothered to take the occasion a little more seriously they might have scored a hatful. They kept the crowd waiting almost half an hour before Sturridge’s precise header gave them the lead. Alli’s goal came nine minutes later and from that point onwards it was an exercise in damage-limitation for Malta. In truth, it probably always was.

When the opposition are this limited, it is certainly difficult to form any lasting conclusions about Wayne Rooney’s capabilities as a midfielder. Jesse Lingard, winning his first cap, should be aware it is not always this easy and Joe Hart must wonder if he will ever have a more straightforward assignment.

Malta managed one shot throughout the entire game and Hart duly ticked off the 36th clean sheet of his international career, moving ahead of Gordon Banks into third in the all-time list of England shut-outs – four behind David Seaman and 30 adrift of Peter Shilton. Hart spent so long as a spectator he ran 40 yards to check on Ryan Bertrand after the hamstring injury that restricted England’s left-back to only 19 minutes.


A better time to judge Southgate’s impact will come after the game in Slovenia on Tuesday, followed by the double-header against Scotland and Spain next month, but what is clear is that he concurs with Sam Allardyce and Hodgson – though evidently not José Mourinho – that Rooney’s best position is now in a deep-lying role where he can dictate play and decorate games with showy passes to the wide positions.

Alli took up the classic No10 role, albeit that being Rooney’s shirt number, with Theo Walcott and Lingard operating on the wings in a 4-2-3-1 system. There was not, however, a great deal of width or penetration. Lingard did reasonably well but it was understandable if the crowd craved Marcus Rashford’s sense of adventure. Rashford replaced Walcott midway through the second half but England continued to play the game at three-quarter pace and Hogg had strong credentials to be recognised as the game’s outstanding performer. Malta’s goalkeeper was a little slow, perhaps, when Sturridge headed in Jordan Henderson’s cross for the first goal but he spared his team on at least half-a-dozen occasions.


Henderson was also involved in England’s second goal, breaking through midfield before Alli whipped in a right-footed shot from just inside the penalty area. Hogg saved the first effort but Alli darted forward to stab in the rebound, showing much more determination then the nearest defender, Andrei Agius, to get to the ball first.

From that stage, England might have been expected to have a lot more fun at Malta’s expense. Instead, they huffed and puffed to the end, making a comfortable win also feel like a slightly unsatisfactory one, and featuring audible boos for Rooney after one moment of carelessness.