U20 WORLD CUP: LAST 16 ROUND-UP

Under20WorldCup

South American giants Colombia were shocked to a penalty-shootout defeat, Iraq somehow ‘did it again’ and got past Paraguay, Ghana stopped Portugal and Chile defeated Croatia. The second half of the last 16 fixtures is reviewed below by Will Burns.

20130703 - Chile Under-20s

CROATIA 0-2 CHILE

Chile booked their place in the last eight with a late 2-0 win over Croatia. The South Americans finally made the breakthrough thanks to a Nicolas Castillo strike just nine minutes from time. The victory was sealed when Jozo Simunovic put the ball into his own net to double the lead just five minutes of play left. Chile’s prise for defeating the Croats is a quarter-final clash with Ghana.

PORTUGAL 2-3 GHANA

Ghana have set up a quarter-final meeting with Chile after a thrilling, topsy-turvy 3-2 win over Portugal in Kayseri. Yiadom Boakye struck a dramatic late winner in a game of two comebacks and some tremendous goals.

Portugal had begun the match as strong favourites after their impressive group campaign but they found themselves a goal down after 19 minutes. A stunner fired home from 30 yards by Kennedy Ashia, whose ferocious shot left goalkeeper Jose Sa without a hope of keeping it out.

Portugla fought to get back into it but the usual source of Bruma was non-existant. Centre-half Tiago Ferreira finally grabbed the equaliser on 71 minutes, smashing a terrific left-foot shot in off the underside of the bar after the ball had dropped loose inside a packed penalty area. Portugal’s tails were up now and, just two minutes later they were in front.

Again, it was a defender providing a finish of which any striker would have been proud, with Edgar Le bulleting home a textbook header off the inside of the post from Ricardo Esgaio’s inviting right-footed cross.

The Africans weren’t ready to accept defeat and six minutes later they found another goal of their own, Michael Anaba stabbing home from inside the six-yard box after Yiadom Boakye’s initial effort was parried.

The dramatic match took one final twist with five minutes remaining. It seemed all but impossible that Boakye could score from a free-kick almost on the byline wide on the left, but the unorganised Portuguese wall split and he fiercely struck shot sneaked in at the near post to seal victory.

IRAQ 1-0 PARAGUAY

AFTER EXTRA TIME

Iraq’s fairytale has been extended after Farhan Shakor’s decisive goal saw off ten-man Paraguay in extra time. The substitute’s 94th-minute strike settled an engrossing encounter and sent Turkey 2013’s surprise packages through a last-eight duel with Korea Republic.

Though the scoreline might suggest otherwise, this was one of the most open and entertaining matches of the tournament thus far, with plenty of chances for both sides. This was due almost entirely to the goalkeeping of Mohammed Hameed and Diego Morel, both of whom were in exceptional form.

In the open game, Paraguay could have won it two minutes from the end of the regulation time when Derlis Gonzalez, clean through, delayed too long in taking his shot and allowed Ali Adnan to get across and make a last-ditch saving tackle. Adnan has been something of a hero for Iraq at these finals and he was involved at the other end when Hakeem Shakir’s side took the lead four minutes into the first period of extra time.

His deep cross caught Paraguay captain Junior Alonso napping, and in stole substitute Farhan Shakor to send a header spinning into the net off the inside of the left-hand post. The noisy band of Iraqi fans erupted, which Shakir did a jig of delight, and they can now look forward to a trip to Kayseri to face Korea Republic in the last eight.

COLOMBIA 1-1 KOREA REPUBLIC

KOREA REPUBLIC WON 8-7 ON PENS

Colombia crashed out of the Under-20 World Cup losing 8-7 on penalties to Korea Republic following a dramatic encounter in Trabzon. The ended 1-1 after extra-time, seeing the Asian champions go into the quarters and Los Cafeteros missing out a clash with giant-killers Iraq.

It was a game full of drama, a spectacular free-kick from Juan Fernando Quintero broke the Korean’s hearts as the Colombian captain cancelled out Song Juhun’s opener with the last kick of the ninety. It went to penalties and it was full-back Deivy Balanta who was the unfortunate player to miss their kick after a nerve-racking finale.

The Koreans took the lead after just 16 minutes to upset Colombia. When the yellow shirts failed to clear Kim Sunwoo’s free-kick, Kwon Changhoon headed back into the box for Song to sweep into the corner.

Colombian target man Jhon Cordoba had previously spurned one opportunity prior to the goal and Carlos Restrepo’s men were not in the mood to let Korea off lightly, with Quintero the main supplier. The attacking midfielder tested goalkeeper Lee Changgeun twice in the following minutes, before right-winger Harrison Mojica tried his luck to no avail.

Colombia continued to press but a stern Korean defence stopped them. Tall striker Kim Hyun went close to a spectacular second after the break too, controlling Kang Sangwoo’s cross on his chest, before hooking over his head just beyond the far post.

Every chance the Colombians missed were created through the inspriational Quintero, who is possibly a contender for player of the tournament. Just before the hour mark, he chipped a ball through to substitute Luis Mena, but despite finding Cordoba in space, the big striker wildly fired over the crossbar and into the stands.

New AC Milan defender Jherson Verghara forced Lee to punch after his shot from range, while sublime skill from Quintero kept hopes alive. Balanta got closer than everyone when his effort from the right side of the box struck the inside of the post on 90 minutes, and it looked like it just was not Colombia’s night.

But as time ticked down Lee saved superbly from Quintero as Korea hung on to keep Colombia at bay, but the maestro was to have the last laugh. With stoppage time all but up, he stood over a free-kick to the right of goal and with his trusty left foot he scored a stunning equaliser to send the match into extra-time with the final effort of normal time. The Colombian bench ran onto the pitch knowing that their star man had saved the day.

The Koreans look tired as Colombian looked like the goal has reinvigorated them but after an additional 30 minutes of extra time, nothing materialised for Restrepo’s men. Both teams had given so much in the first 90 minutes in both attack and defence.

Penalties it was to decide the sides’ fate. Song, Korea’s hero from early on, fired over, but Felipe Aguilar’s effort was saved by Lee as it finished 4-4 before going into sudden death where Balanta hit a poor penalty to let the Korean’s go through 8-7 winners on penalties.

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WillBurns

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WorldFootballWeekly.com

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