England are through to the semi-finals of the U20 World Cup for the first time in 14 years after a 1-0 win over Mexico today in South Korea. Chelsea’s Dominic Solanke scored the winning goal for the Young Lions, and Tottenham Hotspur’s Kyle Walker-Peters and Josh Onomah both started for England.
The win puts England through to the semi-final match against Italy on Thursday. Uruguay will face off against Venezuela in the other semi-final after Venezuela defeated Tottenham’s Cameron Carter-Vickers and USA on Sunday.
It’s not all good news for Tottenham’s participants. Onomah was sent off in the 72nd minute after picking up his second yellow card offense. Most observers, including the Fox Sports commentators, considered the second yellow that sent him off a horrifically bad call; Onomah was dribbling with the ball, and inadvertently stepped on the defender’s ankle, who was in the process of trying to tackle him.
Here’s a replay of the incident. I think it’s safe to say that the decision to give Josh his walking papers was, to put it generously, “unfortunate.”
Josh Onomah sent off for dribbling past defender pic.twitter.com/OXdRDPLe3j— Spurs Fanatic (@spurs_fanatical) June 5, 2017
The U20 World Cup does have video replay and match officials are able to use it, but apparently the rules state that it cannot be used to review second yellow card offenses, which is all sorts of dumb. There’s also no appeals process, so Joshy has no recourse here. As a result, Onomah will miss the semi-final match against Italy.
It’s a shame, too, as Josh has been pretty good in this tournament. He has been deployed as a central midfielder in a double pivot, much deeper than where he has played in his brief appearances for Tottenham the past two seasons. Minutes before his sending off, he nearly doubled England’s lead with a curling effort that Mexico’s keeper just deflected onto the bar.
Despite the expulsion, Onoman has looked bright for England in the World Cup, and hopefully this will be a springboard to more contributions for Tottenham next year.