Bolivia and Montenegro into last four
Bolivia’s young talents set the Boys’ Youth Olympic Football Tournament ablaze as they produced the tournament’s biggest scoreline firing nine unanswered goals past Haiti. The incredible victory, coupled with their opening 2-0 win against Vanuatu, saw the South Americans become the first team to reach the semi-finals as Group C winners. In the day’s later game, Montenegro defeated Zimbabwe 2-1 to advance from Group D with a game to spare, with their win also confirming the progression of the hosts Singapore.
Goals: Cristian Arano 23’, Rodrigo Mejido 37’, 43’, 68’, 80+1, Romero Vaca 40+2’, Josue Gutrhie 42’, Yasser Manzur 49’, Jorge Alpire 70’
A rampant Bolivia proved too good for Haiti as the South Americans turned the encounter into a goal fest. Coach Douglas Cuenca’s gifted charges showed their intent from the start with Rodrigo Mejido testing the goalkeeper with a teasing shot. Urged on by a chanting crowd, the Haitians saw more of the ball, but Bolivia quickly regained the stranglehold on the game. The highly anticipated match became one-sided thereafter with Bolivia opening the scoring midway through the first half, Cristian Arano popping up to direct Yasser Manzur’s free-kick into the net. The lead was doubled just 14 minutes later when Mejido fired a bullet into the back of the net. The lively No11 turned provider in first-half stoppage time, racing down to the byline before crossing for Romero Vaca to slot home.
The three-goal margin only served to whet Bolivians’ appetite for more as they added a further two just three minutes into the second half. Again the impressive Mejido was the architect as he surged down the left before centering for the unmarked Josue Gutrhie, who coolly slotted home. Mejido added another a minute later when he side-footed a low shot. In the 49th minute Manzur latched on to a throughball to make it 6-0 and Mejido complete his hat-trick to make it 7-0 in 68 minutes. But more was still to come in the closing stages. After setting up Jorge Alpire for the eighth goal, he rounded off a wonderful night for Bolivia and himself with a clinical strike in added time.
Zimbabwe pressed forward from the outset and created the first real chance when Pritchard Sibanda was sent clear into the area. However, Montenegro keeper Lazar Nikolic advanced from his line quickly to snuff out the danger. With Zimbabwe relying too much on the pace of Sibanda, Montenegro looked more dangerous in attack and they broke the deadlock on the half-hour, Nikola Jovanovic finding Zarko Grbovic who hit a powerful drive into the top right corner of the net. Montenegro continued their fine form after interval and doubled their advantage in the 44th minute through Aleksandar Boljevic. Stanford Chavingira pulled one back for Zimbabwe in stoppage time, but the goal was too little, too late for the Africans.
Goal of the day
With four goals to his name, Mejido was the undisputed star of the day. He best showcased his predatory talents in the first of his quartet, when after a series of dazzling passes on the left hand side of the penalty area, he latched onto Macallister Amurary’s cross to find the back of the net with a powerful volley.
12 – The number of goals scored today is twice the number netted on the tournament’s opening matchday.
“This is a very special night for me as I helped my team to a great win. But the whole team that combined and connected with each other so well to produced this amazing result. ” Rodrigo Mejido, Bolivia forward