2017 FIFA U-20 WC: It's England vs Venezuela in Sunday's final

Seoul, South Korea (PANA) - The 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in South Korea comes to a fitting close on Sunday with England and Venezuela seeking their maiden world cup.

Both teams will file out at the Suwon World Cup Stadium shortly after the third-place match between Uruguay and Italy.

On the road to the finals, Venezuela was the more impressive in the group phase, winning all three of its group matches, while England remained in splendid form in the knockout phase.

Venezuela played more than 37 friendlies prior to Korea 2017 and remained the leading scorers with 14 goals, emerging the most prolific side in terms of attacking statistics: most shots on goal (110), most attempts on target (38) and most shots against the woodwork (5), a statistics in which the South Americans are level with England.

The Venezuelan goalkeeper, Wuilker Farinez, has made the fewest saves (13) of the four goalkeepers who contested the semi-finals. Farinez has been outstanding for his team, producing some truly superb stops, though he has been ably supported by his defence.

England is the competition’s fourth-highest scorers with 11 goals, while their goalkeeper Freddie Woodman has had to make only two more saves than Farinez, an indication of the strength of his defence line.

One factor that will come into play in the final will be fitness levels, with England having played considerably less football to date. Coach Paul Simpson’s side has won all its knockout matches in normal time, beating Costa Rica 2-1 in the Round of 16, Mexico 1-0 in the last eight and Italy 3-1 in the semis.

In contrast, the only matches Venezuela won in 90 minutes came in the group phase (2-0 against Germany, 7-0 against Vanuatu, and 1-0 against Mexico). It needed extra-time to overcome Japan 1-0 in the Round of 16, and USA 2-1 in the quarter-finals, and then an emotionally-draining penalty shootout 4-3 to see off Uruguay in the semis.

In the third-place match, Uruguay and Italy will both be going all out. The two sides met in their opening match in the group phase, which was settled by Rodrigo Amaral’s wonder strike for the Uruguayans.

Win or lose, Italy is sure of their best-ever finish in the competition, while Uruguay is two-time runner-up and also finished third at Japan 1979 and fourth at Tunisia 1977 and Nigeria 1999.
-0- PANA VAO/MA 11June2017

11 june 2017 06:11:08

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