U-20 World Cup - Uruguay upset Spain, France thrash Uzbekistan

Uruguay prevailed 1-0 against Spain after extra-time courtesy of a Felipe Avenatti header at the FIFA U-20 championship to progress to the semi-finals.

U-20 World Cup - Uruguay upset Spain, France thrash Uzbekistan

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Felipe Avenatti (AFP)

As expected, the Spanish had the Lion’s share of possession for much of the opening exchanges but struggled to break down a resolute Uruguayan defence.

And it was a unconventional route that La Rojita almost took the lead. A Gerard Deulofeu corner caught Guillermo De Amores off guard but the keeper managed to re-arrange his feet and tip over the bar.

In reply, Diego Laxalt saw a snap shot fizz wide for Los Charruas but Spain regrouped. First a Derik header back across goal fell just wide before Deulofeu skewed an effort just off target. Suso had the last chance of an entertaining first-half but drew a smart stop from De Amores.

Jese passed up the best chance of the game just after the restart as he side-footed a deep Javier Manquillo cross wide of goal from close range.

Spain finished in the ascendancy but a combination of profligate finishing and last-ditch defending prevented La Rojita from taking the lead – with Gaston Silva’s block on Paco Alcacer of particular note.

Uruguay could have won it at the death but for the reflexes of Daniel Sotres who clawed out Diego Rolan flicked header.

That save cost Spain their goalkeeper for extra-time as a painful collision with the post meant Ruben Yanez came on, and his first duty was to pick the ball out of the back of the net as Avenatti rose highest to power a header past Yanez.

Spain toiled for an equaliser but Israel Puerto headed wide as Uruguay move into the semi-final.

France cruised into the semi-finals of the FIFA U-20 championship following a one-sided 4-0 win over Uzbekistan.

Goals from Yaya Sanogo, Paul Pogba and Florian Thauvin gave the French a three goal advantage at half-time.

And the game was already over as a contest when Tohirjon Shamshitdinov was dismissed with 68 minutes gone following a fourth from Kurt Zouma four minutes earlier.

Lucas Digne and Jean-Christophe Bahebeck combined to set up Sanogo for a tap in with 31 minutes on the clock before Pogba converted a penalty three minutes later after Bahebeck had been felled in the box.

Thauvin took over penalty taking duties on 43 minutes to add to the advantage before Zouma grabbed a fourth with a diving header from a corner in the 64th to put added gloss on an already polished performance.

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