Brazil, Mexico in U-20 WC semis as Spain sent home

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Brazil, Mexico in U-20 WC semis as Spain sent home

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Brazil goalkeeper Gabriel stops a penalty kick during the FIFA Under-20 World Cup quarterfinals against Spain at Hernan Ramires Villegas Stadium in Pereira, Colombia on Sunday. [AFP/YONHAP]


MEDELLIN, Colombia - Brazil defeated Spain on penalties Sunday in a match that, despite being only a quarterfinal, will be viewed by many as the “real final” between the two best teams in the Under-20 World Cup.

In the end it came down to chance with Brazil winning 4-2 in the shootout after a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes and a 2-2 stalemate after 30 minutes of extra time.

In Sunday’s other semifinal, France defeated Nigeria 3-2 in extra time.

That sets up today’s semifinals with Brazil facing Mexico and France up against Portugal. The winners play for the title on Saturday in Bogota, Colombia. Brazil has won the title four times and Portugal has claimed two. Mexico and France will be trying to break through for their first.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui made it clear he thought the better team lost. The Iberians led in possession, outshot Brazil 26-17 and won 12 corners to Brazil’s five.

“I feel very proud of these kids,” Lopetegui said. “I think overall they were better than Brazil and deserved to advance. Today, the best team in the World Cup is out.”

The two best teams in the competition thrilled the crowd with end-to-end football, possession passing and counterattacking to keep the other side off balance. Spain came back twice, and Brazil was rock solid to pull through on penalties.

“As we anticipated, it was a very difficult match against a very top team - strong and excellent,” Brazil coach Ney Franco said. “We had great penalty takers and a keeper who made the difference.”

Willian gave Brazil the lead in the 35th minute, before Rodrigo - who was born in Brazil - equalized for Spain in the 57th minute. Brazil again went ahead with Dudu's goal in extra time, but Spain answered two minutes later thanks to Alvaro Vazquez.

Vazquez is currently the tournament’s leading goal scorer with five.

Spain fell behind in the shootout when Jordi Amat’s shot was stopped by diving Brazil keeper Gabriel. Vazquez missed Spain’s fourth penalty when Gabriel kicked the shot away.

In the meantime, Brazil converted its four from Casemiro, Henrique, Danilo and Dudu.

Mexico, Brazil’s semifinal opponent, is on a roll and will have plenty of motivation against the young Samba Boys.

Mexico’s senior team won the regional Gold Cup title in June, defeating the United States 4-2, and added the Under-17 World Cup title in July, beating Uruguay 2-0 in the final at Aztec stadium in Mexico City.

Were it not for the drama of Brazil vs. Spain, France’s 3-2 win over Nigeria in extra time would have grabbed more headlines. Nigeria won its first four matches and was seen by many as a match for Brazil or Spain.

France changed that.

Level at 1-1 after 90 minutes, Gueida Fofana gave France a 2-1 lead in extra time and Alexandre Lacazette picked up his second goal of the match two minutes later to seal the win.

Maduabuchi Ejike scored his second goal in extra time to give Nigeria hope of a comeback, but the west Africans couldn’t find the net again.

France should have won the game during the 90 minutes, but Nigeria equalized in the final seconds of second-half stoppage time with a header from Ejike. Lacazette gave France the lead in the 50th minute with his first goal of the match.

This is the first time France has reached the semifinals of the Under-20 World Cup.

“This is the achievement of a new generation,” France coach Francis Smerecki said. “This showed when Nigeria tied the match. I think we can end up as champions, but we are aware there are some strong rivals.”

Nigeria came into the match having won its first four matches and was the highest scoring team in the tournament. But France managed to slow the Nigerian attack for most of the game.

The elimination is yet another disappointment for the Nigerians, who have finished second two times - in 1989 and 2005.

“It is sad to go out like this,” Nigeria coach John Obuh said.


AP


한글 관련 기사 [뉴시스]

[U-20월드컵]브라질, 승부차기 끝에 스페인 꺾고 4강행



삼바축구가 무적함대를 무너뜨렸다.

브라질은 15일(한국시간) 콜롬비아 페레이라에서 열린 2011 국제축구연맹(FIFA) 20세 이하(U-20) 월드컵 8강전에서 스페인과 연장전까지 2-2로 비긴 뒤 승부차기에서 4-2로 승리했다.

다니 알베스, 클레베르 등이 활약하던 2003년 UAE 대회 이후 8년 만에 정상 복귀를 노리는 브라질을 껄끄러운 상대인 스페인을 따돌리고 4강에 안착했다. 브라질은 오는 18일 멕시코를 상대로 결승 진출을 노린다.

반면 한국과의 16강전에서 승부차기 끝에 웃었던 스페인은 이번에는 승부차기 악몽에 고개를 떨궜다. 스페인은 1번 키커와 4번 키커가 브라질 골키퍼 가브리엘에게 막혀 중도 탈락했다.

리드를 잡은 쪽은 브라질이었다. 브라질은 전반 35분 윌리안의 선제골로 앞서 나갔다. 윌리안은 중거리 슛을 스페인 골키퍼 파체코가 쳐내가 끝까지 달려들어 곯망을 흔들었다.

반격에 나선 스페인은 후반 12분 공격수 로드리고의 동점골로 승부를 원점으로 돌렸다. 이 후 두 팀은 공방전을 펼쳤지만 추가 득점 없이 연장전에 돌입했다.

브라질은 연장 전반 10분 두두가 골을 터뜨려 팽팽하던 균형을 깨뜨렸다. 스페인은 2분 뒤 바르케스의 동점골로 분위기를 타는 듯 했지만 승부차기에서 덜미를 잡혔다.

프랑스는 나이지리아의 끈질긴 추격을 힘겹게 따돌리고 4강에 안착했다.

경기 종료 직전까지 1-0으로 앞서던 프랑스는 후반 추가시간 마두아부치 에지케에게 통한의 동점골을 얻어 맞았다. 하지만 프랑스는 연장전에서 귀이다 포포나, 알렉산드리 라카제테의 연속골로 에지케가 한 골을 따라 붙은 나이지리아를 3-2로 제압했다.

프랑스는 4강전에서 포르투갈과 격돌한다.
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