Spain reaches the U-20 quarterfinals

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Spain reaches the U-20 quarterfinals

ISTANBUL - Spain striker Jese scored in injury time as his team came from behind to beat Mexico 2-1 and set up a quarterfinal against Uruguay at the Under-20 World Cup on Tuesday.

The European Under-19 champions will be joined by France, which defeated host Turkey 4-1 to line up a last-eight meeting with Uzbekistan, a 3-1 winner over Greece.

Jese’s strike from outside the area was deflected by Mexico defender Abel Fuentes and goalkeeper Richard Sanchez could only dive over the ball. It was Jese’s fifth goal of the tournament.

Mexico stunned tournament favorite Spain in the second minute when Arturo Gonzalez came in from the left and sent a diagonal shot past goalkeeper Daniel Sotres.

Spain recovered quickly and found its usual rhythm of short passes and moves in midfield. However, it struggled to reach its forwards against Mexico’s well-placed defense.

Raul Lopez’s header in the 19th went just over and a thundering 20-meter shot by Jorge Espericueta hit the crossbar in the 31st.

Spain continued to dominate possession in the second half as it gained control of the match. The Mexican defense started to falter and Spain finally got the chances it had been looking for.

Captain Paco Alacacer was set up by Jese in the 51st but keeper Sanchez saved his low shot with his left foot.

The game turned around when Mexico left Derik unmarked in the 74th when he received a corner kick at the far post, leaving the defender an easy chance to level.

Nicolas Lopez scored twice in the second half to give Uruguay a 2-1 win over Nigeria, which was reduced to 10 players just before halftime.

Defender Abdullahi Shehu committed two fouls within two minutes, receiving a straight red card for the second in the 41st minute.

Lopez scored from close range in the 65th minute, only for a 20-meter strike from Olarenwaju Kayode to make it 1-1 four minutes later. Lopez converted a penalty in the 84th after substitute Diego Rolanwas fouled.

Meanwhile, France dominated the first half of its match in the last 16 against Turkey. Captain Paul Pogba returned from suspension to lead the midfield, while strikers Jean-Christophe Bahebeck and Yaya Sanogo were a constant threat to the Turkey defense.

France now faces Uzbekistan, which had never before gone beyond the group stage but defeated Greece in a match that included three penalties and two red cards.

AP
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