Korea draws Portugal in Under-20 World Cup

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Korea draws Portugal in Under-20 World Cup

ISTANBUL - Korea staged two rallies to hold two-time champion Portugal to a 2-2 draw in the Group B match of the Under-20 World Cup on Monday, raising its chances of going to the Round of 16 for a third straight time.

Ryu Seung-woo scored a first equalizer before halftime and Kim Hyun leveled again with a 76th-minute goal. Aladje and Armindo each scored for Portugal.

Lee Kwang-jong’s squad, which beat Cuba, 2-1, on Saturday, is tied for the lead with Portugal. It is the first time Korea did not lose to Portugal at the U-20 level. Korea lost two previous U-20 matches with Portugal.

A draw in its remaining match against Nigeria tomorrow morning in Korean time would be enough for Korea to get a berth to the Round of 16. Korea reached the quarterfinals in the 2009 U-20 World Cup in Egypt and advanced to the Round of 16 in the 2011 event.

Nigeria, which lost, 3-2, to Portugal on Saturday, got three points with a 3-0 win over newcomer Cuba.

Aminu Umar scored twice in four minutes and captain Abdul Ajagun got his third of the tournament as the African team easily beat Cuba.

Nigeria opened the scoring when Olarenwaju Kayode Fed fed Umar for an easy tap-in with 19 minutes gone. Four minutes later, Abdullahi Shehu drilled a cross which Umar flicked between his legs for the goal.

The Nigerians completed the scoring in the 67th when Kingsley Madu’s cross was headed home by Ajagun.

Spain became the first team to advance to the knockout stages, earning a lackluster but welcome 1-0 victory over Ghana on Monday.

The United States boosted its chances of reaching the final 16 with a hard-fought 1-1 draw with France after a late strike by Daniel Cuevas.

Spain, the tournament favorite, was a shadow of the team that routed the Americans, 4-1. It rarely threatened and often appeared unsettled by Ghana’s pressing style.

The only real chance for Spain came in the 13th minute when Denis Suarez took a long ball and sent a pass to an unmarked Jese, who tapped it in.

Ghana had better chances in the second period but struggled to finish.

A header from Frank Acheampong went wide in the 55th and then Yiadom Boakye spun around and fired his shot just over the goal three minutes later.

Ghana’s Ebenezer Assifuah was taken down in the area in injury time by defender Israel Puerto but no penalty was called.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP, AP [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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