CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – JUNE 01: Niklas Stark of Germany scores a goal during the Group E Group E FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 match between Germany and Fiji at AMI Stadium on June 1, 2015 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

U-20 World Cup Rewind – Day 3

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.

1) Biggest Winner —  Offense

Day 3 was a big day in terms of scoring as 28 goals were scored and two players netted hat tricks, Mervó for Hungary and Mukhtar for Germany. Three players scored braces: Judivan (Brazil), Stark (Germany), and Rochez (Honduras) each scored two in their respective games. A total of 21 different players scored the 28 goals as the ball was really spread around in all four games.

Along with the individual efforts, the team efforts were on display as Germany put up eight on Fiji while Hungary lit up Korea DPR for five. Brazil netted four against Nigeria and Honduras also managed to score four against Uzbekistan, who ended up scoring three goals against los Catrachos.

Even the teams that many believed were not going to score got into the action as Fiji scored their first goal in their first U-20 World Cup tournament and Korea DPR managed to get one by Hungary for their first of the tournament. So overall, you can say it was a pretty good day for forwards.

2) Biggest Loser —  Defending

Obviously, with a total of 28 goals scored in only four games, you could say defending was at a premium. Two teams saw their opponents light up the scoreboard as Korea DPR received five goals against them and Fiji took the worst hit with eight goals tallied against them.

Granted, they are smaller caliber teams but having made this tournament one would think that the teams would be better prepared defensively. Even a usually solid defense like Nigeria ended up conceding four goals to Brazil, despite playing a great first half, after seeming lethargic in the latter half of the game.

Needless to say, most people like these offensive outputs as it showcases the talent that teams have in the midfield and forward positions, but at the expense of the defenders. Managers are probably ripping up their defensive game plans and will more than likely rethink their strategy going forward as they will be more wary of the way their defenses will play. I can imagine that no manager would like to see their defense surrender more than five goals in two consecutive games.

3) Standout Performers — Bence Mervó (Hungary) and Hany Mukhtar (Germany)

Both Bence Mervó and Hany Mukhtar scored hat-tricks as both their teams cruised to easy victories. Mukhtar scored two of his goals before the half as Germany piled on six goals on Fiji at the break. As time wore on it seemed like Mukhtar was going to end his game without scoring his third, but at the last minute Thomas Hagn was brought down in the penalty area and Mukhtar easily scored from the spot for his treble and for the 8-1 Germany win.

Bence Mervó was sensational for Hungary scoring the first and last goals of the game. His first goal was a great header that whizzed by Korean keeper Cha Jong-Hun. He scored his second near the beginning of the second half and his third was a sensational goal where he faked out Jong-Hun, who came off his line, and scored from a difficult angle to score his hat-trick and Hungary’s fifth of the game.

4) Players Worth Staying Up to Watch in the Future:

Niklas Stark, Germany – Niklas Stark, when not playing for the German squad, plays for 2.Bundesliga side 1. FC Nürnberg. He was the recipient of the Walter Fritz Gold Medal, an annual award given by the German Football Association to youth footballers in Germany, in 2014 for the U-19 category. The young man has certainly made an impression in the U-20 World Cup scoring two goals against Fiji and will most likely see his stock rise come transfer window time. A defenseman that scores is a hot commodity and the young man can manage playing on both sides of the ball.

Judivan, Brazil – Judivan Flor da Silva currently plays for defending Brasileirão champions Cruzeiro and, although he hasn’t gotten much playing time with them, he probably will soon. He dazzled opponents with his quick footwork and stunning goals, and will continue to do so for the rest of the U-20 tournament. His awareness up top makes him a target for midfielders to get the ball to, as they know that once he has the ball, he can do great things with it. I expect to see him get more playing time once he goes back to Belo Horizonte to play for his club.

5) Best Tweet:

6) Biggest Surprise — Honduras

Honduras didn’t come into the tournament with much expectation of doing much so when they went up against Uzbekistan, not many knew what to think of them. However, after the way they performed today Honduras sure looks like they have what it takes to finally move on past the group stages.

Their defense was a bit insipid at times, having allowed three lazy goals to Uzbekistan, but their offense was fantastic as they scored from two set pieces and the other two goals were developed by smart passing and knowledge of where each player was going to be. For a team that just made the tournament, Honduras showed the world that they came to play and will not bow out once more in the group stages.

7) Best Goals —  Jhow Benavidez, Kevin Alvarez (Honduras) and Bence Mervó, Hungary

There were many goals to choose from and I couldn’t just choose one, so I chose three goals that really were something else.

Benavidez’s goal


Alvarez’s goal

[h/t: Alex Paz]

Mervó’s goal


[h/t: A. Gabilondo]

8) Results of the Day (Groups E and F)

Nigeria – 2 (S. Issac 10′, Yahaya 28′)  Brazil – 4 (Gabriel 4′, Judivan 34′ & 82′, Boschilia 59′)

Germany – 8 (Stark 18′ & 27′, Stendera 20′ (p), Prömel 23′, Mukhtar 34′, 40′, & 89′ (p), Stefaniak 68′)  Fiji – 1 (Verevou 48′)

Uzbekistan – 3 (Khamdamov 31′, Shomurodov 79′, Urinboev 90’+6)  Honduras – 4 (Benavidez 4′, Rochez 20′ & 90’+2, K. Alvarez 49′)

Korea DPR – 1 (C. Ju Song 32′)  Hungary – 5 (Mervó 17′, 49′, & 82′, Kalmár 33′, Forgács 59′)

About Josh Espinal

I am a multimedia journalism graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso. Soccer is more than a passion for me, it's basically life. Follow me on twitter at @joshbruv and see me tweet about soccer in almost every language imaginable.