Newcastle prodigy’s delight at starring for England on international stage

Freddie Woodman
Freddie Woodman

Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman revealed his delight after starring as England Under-20s marched into the World Cup semi-final at the expense of Mexico.

Woodman kept a clean sheet as the 10 men of the Young Lions fought off a late charge from their opponents.

Dominic Solanke’s second-half goal put England in charge before midfielder Josh Onomah was sent off for a second yellow card.

Woodman excelled with a series of vital saves but he also paid tribute to the players in front of him, who included his Newcastle team-mate Adam Armstrong.

“We had to dig in at the end but I thought we played well otherwise,” Woodman.

“The lads in front of me were excellent and we’re happy with the result, but it’s easy for me when you’ve got a great set of players in front of you, 10 guys who are willing to put their body on the line and defend.

“It looks good with the clean sheet for a goalkeeper, but it’s about the boys in front of me who make the job easier.

“I just work hard on focusing my emotions and I try to play the game every five minutes, if we get to 95 minutes and we’ve got a result then I’m buzzing.

“I felt like we were always in control, we knew they were going to throw everything at us because it’s the quarter final of a World Cup, but we just had to keep doing what we were doing.”

England will now play Italy as they bid to reach the final. It is a repeat of last year’s U19 Euro semi-final in Germany, when the Azzurri beat the Young Lions to seal their place in the final with Portugal.