Earth-shaking results in the quarter finals last weekend eliminated two of the tournament’s favorites, as the last four teams gear up for the semi finals on June 8 at the Diego Maradona Stadium in La Plata.
Israel (3) – Brazil (2)
Debutant Israel provided the shock element to these quarter finals by beating Brazil 3-2 in a gripping match that reached the 90 minutes mark at the Bicentenario stadium in San Juan with a 1-1 draw, with goals by Marcos Leonardo (Brazil) and Anan Khalaili (Israel).
Once in extra time, the European team quickly responded with a goal by Hamza Shibli at 93’ after Brazil had taken the advantage at 91’ with a goal by Matheus Nascimento. Israeli Dor Turgeman’s amazing play at 108 minutes turned the score around to 3–2, thus eliminating the tournament’s favorite, who was aiming to match Argentina’s record of six U-20 World Cup wins. Israel also wasted two penalty kicks (missed by Madmoun and Ahmad Ibrahim) at 114 and 115 minutes, and will now play Uruguay next Thursday at 2.30 p.m. for a place in the finals.
Italy (3) – Colombia (1)
A solid Italy moved on to the semifinals last Saturday by beating Colombia 3-1 in San Juan’s Bicentenario stadium. The Italian team scored first with a header by Césare Casadei, 9 minutes into the match, and dominated from then on. After a second goal by Baldanzi at 38 minutes, the second half started with a quick finishing-off score by Inter attacker Francesco Esposito, less than a minute after kick-off.
Two minutes later, Colombia’s center-field Jhojan Torres scored with a long-distance shot, but the team never managed to pose a real threat for Italy, which is now in the semifinals for the third consecutive tournament.
South Korea (1) – Nigeria (0)
A superior South Korea won 1-0 against Nigeria in extra time, after no goals throughout the 90 minutes of the match. The Asian team’s only goal was a header by defender Choi Seok-Hyun, who scored five minutes into the first half of extra time at the Madre de Ciudades stadium in Santiago del Estero. South Korea will now play Italy on Thursday at 6 p.m. for the semis.
Uruguay (2) – United States (0)
Uruguay beat the other favorite, the United States, on Sunday. Coach Marcelo Broli’s team won 2-0, with a goal by Anderson Duarte and an own goal from Joshua Wynder. The only Latin American team left in the tournament, Uruguay is now onto the semifinals against the surprise candidate Israel.