England cruise v Argentina in Under-20 World Cup, Germany lose to Venezuela
SEOUL, South Korea -- England defeated six-time champions Argentina 3-0 on the opening day of the 2017 Under-20 World Cup on Saturday for their first win in the tournament since 1997.
Argentina went down to 10 men in the second half of the Group A match after a video review system was used for the second time in a FIFA tournament, following the 2016 Club World Cup.
England had been winless in the last 17 games in the tournament ahead of this game in the South Korean city of Jeonju. A first-half strike from Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin suggested that the dismal record could be coming to an end and Adam Armstrong of Newcastle extended the lead early in the second half. Chelsea's Dominic Solanke made it 3-0 from the penalty spot in injury time.
Argentina, one of the tournament favourites, were on top for lengthy periods but were unable to match the clinical finishing of the English.
The closest they came in a first half of few chances was 10 minutes before the break as Santiago Colombatto headed against the crossbar.
Just two minutes later, Calvert-Lewin dived in the penalty area to head an inswinging cross into the bottom corner of Argentina's goal.
Argentina piled on the pressure after the restart but were caught by England's swift counter-attack. Armstrong broke free down the right side and fired home a fierce low shot into the bottom corner.
With 15 minutes remaining, referee Mohammed Abdulla Hassan stopped play to review a pitchside video of an overlooked incident. The United Arab Emirates official then produced a red card to Argentina substitute Lautaro Martinez for an apparent elbow on England defender Fikayo Tomori.
Inside injury time, Calvert-Lewin was brought down in the area and Solanke side-footed the penalty into the bottom corner.
England sit top of Group A with South Korea. The hosts defeated Guinea 3-0, also in Jeonju.
Lee Seung-woo opened the scoring nine minutes before the break. Lim Min-hyeok added a second in the 76th. Paik Seung-ho sealed the win shortly after.
South Korea take on Argentina on Tuesday while England meet Guinea.
Earlier, Venezuela defeated Germany 2-0 in a Group B upset with two goals in the space of three second-half minutes in Daejeon.
Ronaldo Pena rounded Dominik Reimann after 51 minutes to score the first goal of the tournament and, shortly after, Sergio Cordova underlined Venezuela's attacking power to extend his team's lead.
Also in Group B, Mexico needed an injury-time goal to defeat Vanuatu 3-2. Mexico raced into a two-goal lead after 25 minutes, only to be pegged back by the South Pacific islanders. Edson Alvarez struck in the 93rd to prevent a shock result.
Sixteen of the 24 teams in the tournament -- the top two in each of the six groups and the four best third-placed finishers -- will progress to the second round. The final takes place in Suwon on June 11.