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Solanke sends England to semis

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By Lewis Jones

Last Updated: 05/06/17 3:11pm

Dominic Solanke celebrates his goal (centre) with team-mates

Dominic Solanke celebrates his goal (centre) with team-mates

Dominic Solanke celebrates his goal (centre) with team-mates

England have reached the U20 World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 24 years after beating Mexico 1-0 in a manic quarter-final.

Dominic Solanke, who will join Liverpool from Chelsea in July, netted the winner just after the break but it was a nervy finish as Josh Onomah was sent-off for picking up a controversial second yellow card with 17 minutes left.

Mexico laid siege to the England goal but a combination of some mature defending and wayward Mexican finishing sent England through.

England Under-20s defender Jonjoe Kenny (left) and Mexico U20 midfielder Kevin Magana compete for the ball

England Under-20s defender Jonjoe Kenny (left) and Mexico U20 midfielder Kevin Magana compete for the ball

England Under-20s defender Jonjoe Kenny (left) and Mexico U20 midfielder Kevin Magana compete for the ball

Paul Simpson’s men will now play Italy in the semi-finals on Thursday.

The game burst into life after the break when skipper Lewis Cook picked out Solanke with a terrific pass. It found the striker in plenty of space in the box and he made no mistake to fire England into the lead.

That advantage should have been doubled within the next four minutes but Kieran Dowell had an effort hooked off the line before Onomah smacked an effort from 20 yards against the post.

It looked only a matter of time before England sealed the win, but Mexico grew into the game. Eduardo Aguirre prodded an effort from close range towards goal but Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman reacted quickly to block it behind.

Onomah was then dismissed on 73 minutes in harsh circumstances. Already on a booking, the Spurs man dribbled past a Mexico defender and accidently trod on his leg. Despite being in possession of the ball, the referee deemed it a foul worthy of a yellow card, which means Onomah now misses the semi-final with Italy.

Luckily for England the decision didn’t have a big effect on the result as they successfully defended a barrage of crosses and were thankful for Uriel Antuna’s late miss, where he blazed wide from close range.

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