Uruguay beats Spain in extra time in quarterfinals

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Uruguay beats Spain in extra time in quarterfinals

ISTANBUL - Substitute Felipe Avenatti scored in extra time to give Uruguay a 1-0 win over Spain in the quarterfinals of the Under-20 World Cup on Saturday.

Avenatti had been on for five minutes when the 1.96-meter (6-foot-5-inch) tall striker scored with a fierce header at the near post from Giorgian De Arrascaeta’s corner in the 103rd.

It’s the fourth time Uruguay has reached the last four in the competition. It will play Iraq or South Korea for a place in the final.

Earlier Saturday, France beat Uzbekistan 4-0 to set up a semifinal against Ghana or Chile. The remaining quarterfinals are scheduled for Sunday.

Spain was the only team in the quarterfinals to have won all matches and was widely regarded as a favorite for the title.

In a high-paced first half, Spain dominated possession with its typical short passing in midfield. Winger Gerard Deulofeu’s curling corner kick hit the crossbar in the 19th and midfielder Suso forced Uruguay keeper Guillermo De Amores into a diving safe in the last minute of the first half. Leonardo Pais and Giorgian De Arrascaeta came close for Uruguay but they both sent their headers just off target.

The match slowed down in the second half, causing booing from the stands. In the last 20 minutes, Spain stepped up a gear again after coach Julen Lopetegui brought Paco Alacacer. The central striker immediately created danger but directed his header over the crossbar.

In the second minute of injury time, Spain goalkeeper Daniel Sotres just managed to push the ball away from the goalline following a backward header from Uruguay substitute Diego Rolan.

Sotres hit his head against the goalpost and was replaced by Ruben Yanez for extra time.

Spain created few chances to score the equalizer, though Israel Puerto came close when he was left unmarked in the area but sent his header wide.

AP

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