2019 U-20 World Cup

AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

Ukraine wins U-20 World Cup behind Supriaha brace (video)

Leave a comment

Vladyslav Supriaha scored goals in each half as Ukraine overcame an early penalty to beat South Korea 3-1 and win the U-20 World Cup in Poland.

The Dynamo Kiev 19-year-old was kept off the scoreboard for most of the tournament, with Danylo Sikan scoring four times to pace the champions to the final. Ukraine beat the U.S. in the first match of the group stage.

Fellow Dynamo Kiev teen Heorhiy Tsitaishvili, 18, scored a magnificent solo goal to put the win on ice with two minutes to go in regulation.

It was South Korea who took the early lead on a VAR-given penalty following a foul on the very edge of the box.

But Supriaha turned and slotted a fine finish home before the break, then scored the below winner early in the second frame.

Amazingly, though, the play of the day was a save from Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin off a bullet header in the 70th minute. Lunin has already been capped three times by the senior team.

Wild match sees South Korea into U-20 World Cup semis on penalties

Associated Press
Leave a comment

A absolutely wild one in Bielsko-Biala saw both Senegal and South Korea complete unlikely comebacks, and eventually South Korea secured a place in the U-20 World Cup semifinals on penalties after a 3-3 draw, marking the last side to earn a place in the final four.

South Korea trailed 2-1 at the death, but scored a 98th minute equalizer to send the game to extra time before taking the lead six minutes into the added period. Needing a lifeline, Senegal pushed and pushed the whole added period before finding the necessary moment with almost the last kick of the game as Amadou Cisse tied it up in stoppage time to send the game to penalties. The Asian nation required another comeback in the shootout, falling behind 2-0 but eventually advancing on Cavin Diagne’s miss.

Diagne roofed one in the 37th minute to put Senegal up 1-0 at the halftime break, but South Korea fought back to level it up just past the half-hour mark as VAR awarded a penalty and Kang-In Lee delivered from the spot with a powerful low drive. Korea matched Senegal’s intensity, owning 55% possession and equaling the African nation’s shot total 9-9, but the level score would not last.

In the 72nd minute, VAR was required again as a handball by Lee Jae-Ik was eventually given as a penalty for Senegal. While South Korean goalkeeper Lee Gwang-Yeon saved Ibrahima Niane’s first attempt low to his left, the referee whistled for the penalty to be retaken after VAR confirmed South Korean players entered the area early. Niane scored with his second opportunity, putting Senegal ahead.

It seemed Senegal had put the game away in the 85th minute, but Ousseynou Niang’s goal was ruled out for a handball in the box by a teammate. That kept the game in doubt, and South Korea would deliver eight minutes deep into stoppage time as Ji-Sol Lee met a corner with his head and redirected it in off the underside of the crossbar.

That brought the game to extra-time, and the Asian side would emerge victorious with a winning moment in the 96th minute from Young-Wook Cho who finished first-time on a delightful feed through the Senegal back line from Lee Kang-In. The break was vicious and left the Senegal players hanging their heads staring down their first defeat of the tournament, but they would eventually earn the equalizer on a poke by Cisse who slid to meet a cross near the top of the box, tucking his shot perfectly inside the far post.

In the ensuing shootout, South Korea fell behind off the bat as Kim Jung-Min’s effort came off the inside of the post and agonizingly bounded parallel to the goal mouth and out. The next South Korean taker Cho Young-Wook saw his effort saved, but in fitting fashion for this game, they would come back to level the shootout when Amadou Ndiaye’s weak effort was stopped by a diving Lee Gwang-Yeon. In the fifth and final round of penalties, Dialy Ndiaye saved again, but was yellow-carded for coming off his line and the re-take was buried by Oh Se-Hun. That left Diagne with a do-or-die effort and he missed wide, giving South Korea the victory.

U.S. U-20s lose to Ecuador in World Cup quarters

AP
1 Comment

Ecuador beat the U.S. 2-1 on Saturday in Poland, as Tab Ramos’ side crashed out of the U-20 World Cup.

A fine strike from Jose Cifuentes put Ecuador ahead but then Tim Weah equalized in a topsy-turvy first half in Gdynia, Poland.

The winning goal arrived just before half time as Ecuador’s captain Jhon Espinoza bundled home and the U.S. failed to create any real clear-cut chances in the second half as their South American opponents looked more likely to find the back of the net.

Overall, this was a disappointing to the World Cup for the U.S. after their heroic comeback to beat France in the Round of 16. For large periods of this game they lacked energy and were totally overpowered in central midfield.

Ecuador will now play either South Korea or Senegal in the semifinal on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Latest U-20 World Cup news

The U.S. had plenty of chances early on as Weah was proving to be a handful for the Ecuadorian defense, but just when it looked like the game would turn into a midfield battle, it exploded into life.

But then Ecuador took the lead as Chris Durkin turned the ball over and Jose Cifuentes ran towards goal unopposed and smashed home a fine effort on target. 1-0.

Alex Mendez then curled a free kick just wide for the U.S. as the Stars and Stripes battled their way back into the game and Weah equalized before half time.

A corner from the left saw the ball deflect into the air and Weah was there to volley home and make it 1-1.

Sebastian Soto was then inches away from getting on the end of Weah’s teasing cross as the U.S. were dominant but Ecuador were a real threat on the break. And that was how they went ahead before the break.

A stunning strike from distance hit the crossbar and captain Jhon Espinoza followed up to bundle the ball home and make it 2-1.

A lengthy VAR check looked at the goal but it was correctly allowed as Ecuador led at half time.

In the second half Ecuador had plenty of the ball but the U.S. squandered a great chance to equalize. Soto was found at the back post and he squirmed free before flicking a shot into the side-netting.

David Ochoa kept the U.S. in the game late on as Espinoza’s cross found Alvarado in the box but Ochoa pushed his header away for a corner. From that corner Ecuador went even closer to going 3-1 up as a superb flicked header from Porozo hit the bar and came back out.

Late on the U.S. chucked plenty of players forward but Ochoa was again called into action but he denied Campana’s powerful strike after a poor giveaway from Durkin.

In the end, Ecuador held on for the win in comfortable fashion as the U.S. saw their run at the U20 World Cup come to an end.

Watch Live: USA U-20 v. Ecuador, World Cup quarterfinal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The U.S. U-20 national team play Ecuador in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday (kick off, 11:30 a.m. ET) as Tab Ramos’ youngsters will be flying high after knocking out tournament favorites France in the last 16.

[ WATCH LIVE: USA v. Ecuador ]

A stunning second half comeback led by Sebastian Soto saw the U.S. trail 2-1 but then Ramos made two game-changing subs as Uly Llanez and Justin Rennicks made a huge difference in the 3-2 win.

Ecuador breezed past Uruguay in the last 16, with the South American nation set up well defensively but there’s no doubting that the U.S. are favorites to advance to the semifinals where they will play either South Korea or Senegal.

Click on the link above to watch the game live online, while you can also watch it on NBC Universo.

U-20 World Cup: Ukraine keeps chugging, Italy downs Mali

Associated Press
Leave a comment

Ukraine and Italy confirmed places in the 2019 U-20 World Cup semifinals with impressive victories over skillful Colombia and Mali sides on Friday.

Danylo Sikan scored the game’s only goal 11 minutes in as Ukraine topped Colombia 1-0 to remain unbeaten in the competition and become the first semifinalist of the tournament. The strike came on an ugly error in judgement by Colombia goalkeeper Kevin Mier who came way out of the box to play a long ball over the top, but with Colombia center-back Carlos Cuesta slow to react and Mier late to arrive, Sikan won the contest outside the box and poked the ball into the empty net.

Colombia looked for an equalizer but it never came, holding 63% possession and popping off 11 shots, but only one of those efforts found the target. With seven minutes remaining, Colombia fell down to 10 men as substitute Johan Carbonero was harshly sent off for a challenge on Dynamo Kiev youth product Denys Popov.

Italy, meanwhile, moved on as well thanks to a wild 4-2 victory over 10-man Mali on a brace from Andrea Pinamonti that twice gave Italy the lead, including the winner from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute. The European side went in front just 12 minutes in on an awful own-goal by Ibrahima Kone who kicked an Italy corner into the back of his own net right on the doorstep under very little pressure.

Mali fell down a man in the 21st minute when Ousmane Diakite, who plays in the Austrian second tier, went in studs up on Gianluca Scamacca with a nasty follow-through. That left Mali with a mountain to climb, but they would manage to stick right with the Italians through the final minutes. The first equalizer came via Seikou Keita before halftime on a wonderful back-heel delivery from Kone.

Pinamonti would give Italy its second lead in the 60th minute, latching onto a deflected shot and finishing from an absurdly tight angle almost standing on the end line. Now down 2-1 with a half-hour left, Mali would not quit, drawing level at 2-2 with 11 minutes to go when substitute Boubacar Traore roasted Davide Bettella which set up a two-on-two break, and Traore fed Mohamed Camara for the finish on the doorstep.

That’s when the wheels fell off for Mali and Italy took control. Just four minutes after Mali’s late equalizer, Pinamonti was felled by Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita and earned a penalty, dispatching it for the lead. Just a minute later, Davide Fratessi confirmed the victory with a bullet long-range header on a perfect looping cross from Raoul Bellanova to make it 4-2.

Koita had a chance to make it 4-3 deep in stoppage time, but his 94th minute penalty was saved by Alessandro Plizzari before he fired a chance wide on the ensuing corner with the last kick of the game.

The two European sides will meet in the first semifinal set for Tuesday in Lublin. The other semifinal will take place on Wednesday between the winners of quarterfinal matchups United States vs. Ecuador and South Korea vs. Senegal, both to be determined tomorrow.