U-20 FIFA World Cup How Nigeria helped England to win title

A look at the role and impact of the Nigerian-born players in the England squad that won the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

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England forward Dominic Solanke celebrates a goal with teammates in the U-20 World Cup semi-final against Italy in Jeonju, South Korea, on June 8, 2017 play

England forward Dominic Solanke celebrates a goal with teammates in the U-20 World Cup semi-final against Italy in Jeonju, South Korea, on June 8, 2017

(AFP)
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England on Sunday, June 11 beat Venezuela 1-0 in the final to win the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Korea Republic.

Six Nigerian-born players were in the Junior Three Lions squad which ended England’s 51-year wait for a global trophy. Everton’s Ademola Lookman, Ovie Ejaria, Sheyi Ojo, Dominic Solanke (all of Liverpool) Fikayo Tomori (from Chelsea) and Joshua Onomah of Tottenham Hotspurs.

The Nigerian media have since stressed the impact of the Nigerian-born players in the squad, but what role did they play in England’s World Cup win?

We highlight the individual impact of each of the players.

Dominic Solanke

Dominic Solanke play Dominic Solanke (AP)

 

Easily the most impactful player in the England squad having been named the best player at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

The striker led the line for England, scoring four goals and finishing as the second-top scorer of the tournament.

He scored England’s only goal in their 1-0 win over Mexico in the quarter-final and netted a brace in their 3-1 win over Italy in the semi-final.

In winning the Golden Ball, he joins an elite list of players have done that in the past-Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Sergio Aguero.

Ademola Lookman

Ademola Lookman play Ademola Lookman (AFP/Getty Images)

 

After sitting out England’s first game, Lookman returned as a 74th-minute substitute in England’s  second game.

He started and played for 73 minutes in their final Group game which they won beating the Korea Republic 1-0. He netted a brace as England beat Costa Rica 2-1 in the second round and started in their quarter-final win over Mexico.

He scored another goal in their 3-1 win over Italy in the semi-final and was on from start at the final.

Ovie Ejaria

Ovie Ejaria play Ovie Ejaria (Twitter/Ovie Ejaria)

 

Ejaria was mostly used as a substitute all through the tournament. He was an 84th-minute substitute in England’s opening game of the World Cup and an 85th in the final Group game.

In the quarter-final win over Mexico, he's a 75th-minute substitute. He was not to play again in the semi-final and final games.

Sheyi Ojo

Sheyi Ojo play Sheyi Ojo (AFP/Getty Images)

 

The Liverpool forward was a 74th-minute substitute in England’s opening game and started in England’s second game. In their final Group game, he was introduced in the 85th  minute.

It was in the semi-final 3-1 win over Italy that Ojo had his biggest impact at the World Cup. He entered the game in the 54th minute with England trailing 1-0 and made two goals. He assisted in the equaliser and also made England second goal. He was a 62nd substitute in the final.

Fikayo Tomori

Fikayo Tomori play Fikayo Tomori (Twitter/Fikayo Tomori)

 

The Chelsea defender played all the games for the Junior Three Lions during their successful FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign. Although he scored a comical own goal in a group game against Guinea, he still played a huge part in the England defence that conceded just three goals at the World Cup

Joshua Onomah

Joshua Onomah play Joshua Onomah ( Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

 

Onomah was also a crucial part of England defence that conceded only three goals at the World Cup. He started all England’s three Group games and scored one goal.

He played for 76 minutes in England’s 2-1 win over Costa Rica in the Round of 16 and got a red card in the quarter-final win over Mexico. He missed the semi-final win over Italy and returned to the starting line-up in the final.

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