With the 2015 U-20 World Cup taking place at crazy hours here in the United States, we at 32 Flags are happy to be your guide to all that is the U-20 World Cup. Consider this series a refresher course on all that took place while you were likely asleep. You’re welcome.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup round of 16 concluded with an upset no one saw coming and a penalty kick thriller. Now the quarterfinals for the tournament are set, but first let us review how these teams advanced to the final eight.
Uzbekistan vs. Austria
The surprise of the day came from Uzbekistan as they took on the favored Austria in Whangarei, as the Uzbekistan scored two on the European team while blanking them for the 2-0 win. Dostonbek Khamdamov scored a brace for the Uzbeks, the first coming from a perfectly executed counter attack and the second after some confusion inside the 18-yard box led to a shot that bounced off the post and right to the feet of Khamdamov who slotted the ball for the easy goal.
The Uzbek victory comes with a price, however, as Khamdamov was booked earlier in the game and will miss the next match against Senegal due to accumulation of yellow cards.
Brazil vs. Uruguay
The match of the day featured two South American powerhouses in Brazil and Uruguay and this game did not disappoint. As the video above shows, the game ended in a tightly contested 0-0 draw, which led to the game going into added extra time. No one could find the net in the extra 30 minutes either so the game would have to be decided by a penalty shootout.
In the shootout, every shooter scored except for Uruguay’s Rodrigo Amaral, who skied it over the crossbar, and finally when Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus scored the last penalty of the game; Brazil celebrated ecstatically as they tallied another victory over their CONMEBOL rivals, winning in penalties 5-4.
Portugal vs. New Zealand
The tournament hosts faced a tough challenge against Portugal, who seems to score at will, in front of almost 10,500 spectators in Hamilton. Portugal started the scoring in the 24th minute, it was Raphael Guzzo with a shot that caught everyone off guard and found the bottom corner of the net.
The hosts would find it in them to score the equalizer with Stuart Holthusen finishing the job that Monty Patterson started. However, Gelson Martins would break the heart of New Zealanders everywhere as his goal with three minutes left in the game would be the difference maker in the 2-1 Portugal win.
Germany vs. Nigeria
This match was a toss up as both squads impressed in the group stages and both seemed to have an even chance of winning the game. Nigeria had bountiful chances on net early on and one opportunity even found the post, but bounced out of harm’s way.
Despite the early Nigerian chances, Levin Öztunali found the back of the net in the 19th minute for Germany as he ripped a shot that went racing by the helpless Nigerian goalie Joshua Enaholo. Özunali’s goal would be all the Germans would need, as their defense would keep the Nigerian offense at bay and the game would end 1-0 in favor of Germany.
After all the action of the round of 16 finalized, the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup will shape up like this (all games will be played on Sunday, June 14th and all times are Eastern Standard Time):
Brazil vs. Portugal, 3:00 PM
Mali vs. Germany, 3:00 PM
USA vs. Serbia, 6:30 PM
Uzbekistan vs. Senegal, 6:30 PM