Anderson Duarte of Uruguay and Bae Junho of Korea lead Teams to U-20 WC Quarterfinals

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Mendoza (Argentina), Jun 02, 2023, IANS


In an exhilarating match filled with intensity and suspense, Uruguay managed to secure their place in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup by edging out Gambia with a 1-0 victory.

Anderson Duarte emerged as the hero for Uruguay, unleashing a powerful strike midway through the second half to seal the win and set up an enticing quarterfinal clash against the United States.

The game took an early turn when Gambia's Mansour Mbye was shown a red card in the 17th minute for a challenge on Juan de los Santos, following a thorough VAR review by referee Francois Letexier.

Uruguay failed to capitalize on the numerical advantage for the remainder of the first half as Luciano Rodriguez received a red card just before halftime for elbowing Sainey Sanyang in the face, leaving both teams with ten players for the second half.

In the second half, Gambia exhibited patience and composure in possession, while Uruguay adopted a more direct approach in attack, creating several dangerous opportunities. Uruguay's perseverance paid off when Anderson Duarte unleashed a thunderous shot from 25 yards out, finding the bottom corner of the net and breaking the deadlock.

Uruguay will now enjoy two days of rest before facing the formidable USA team in the quarterfinals, where a place in the semifinals will be at stake.

Uruguay has established a remarkable record of consistency in the U-20 World Cup, reaching the quarterfinals in ten out of their sixteen tournament appearances.

In another thrilling encounter, Korea Republic caused an upset by defeating Ecuador 3-2 in the round of 16.

Bae Junho played a pivotal role for Korea, scoring one goal and assisting another, as they set up a quarterfinal clash against Nigeria on Sunday.

Korea Republic took an early lead through Lee Youngjun, who expertly controlled Junho's precise long pass before volleying the ball into the bottom corner.

Junho then showcased his individual brilliance, bamboozling Daniel de la Cruz with exceptional footwork before firing a shot into the net to double Korea's advantage.

Ecuador managed to pull one back through a penalty converted by Justin Cuero, after Park Changwoo was adjudged to have fouled Kendry Paez.

However, Korea quickly reestablished their two-goal cushion at the start of the second half when Choi Seokhyun headed home Lee Seungwon's corner. Despite a late surge from Ecuador and a close-range effort by Sebastian Gonzalez, Korea held on to claim a hard-fought victory.

Korea Republic's triumph over Ecuador marks their fourth consecutive win against South American teams in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, highlighting their prowess against opponents from the dominant continent in the competition. (Edited)