FIFA U-20 World Cup – Portugal, Venezuela progress to quarter-finals

first_imgPORTUGAL cruised past host nation South Korea 3-1 in the last 16 of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup yesterday.The Selecao were clinical early on, as goals from Bruno Xadas and Bruno Costa gave them a two-goal lead at the break. Xadas added his second midway the second period to make the game safe, before Lee Sang-Heon snatched a consolation.Earlier in the day, Venezuela continued their impressive form at the tournament, as they eventually overcame Japan 1-0 after extra time. Manchester City youngster Yangel Herrera netted the winner in the 108th minute.Three more quarter-finalists will be determined today, as Uruguay take on Saudi Arabia, England face Costa Rica and Zambia go up against Germany.With a sizeable home crowd in attendance, Portugal would have been keen to put together a strong start and sap any buzz from the atmosphere. And they did exactly that with a brilliant display.A fluid move gave the Selecao the lead, with Xadas applying the finishing touch. And while the host nation responded well to the early setback, Portugal pounced on the break to score for a second time, with Costa lashing home from 20 yards.As noted by sports journalist Tom Kundert, from that point on the European side were in total control of the match:In the second period, South Korea needed to make their possession count a little more, but they lacked the conviction needed to get back into the game. Eventually it was Xadas, outstanding throughout, who made the game safe with a brilliant individual goal.The hosts did at least give their supporters something to cheer late on, as Lee gave the scoreline a more respectable look. Portugal, meanwhile, will face either Saudi Arabia or Uruguay in the last eight.In the day’s early fixture Venezuela had to bide their time against Japan but eventually came through late on.The Vinotinto were the standout side in the group stages of the competition, putting together three consecutive wins. But they were frustrated by a determined opponent for long spells here.Adalberto Penaranda, Yeferson Soteldo and Ronaldo Pena were all threatening for Venezuela early in the game, but they couldn’t apply the decisive touch in front of goal. Japan did offer a threat on the counter and particularly from set pieces, with Ritsu Doan rattling the bar.Still, neither side could find a breakthrough in normal time and after another goalless 15 minutes in extra time, penalties loomed. Herrera saved the Venezuela supporters from that torture, though, heading home a corner with 12 minutes on the clock.Sports journalist David Cartlidge was impressed with the performance of the South Americans and particularly that of Herrera.last_img

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