Ghana remain on course, USA enjoy first-ever trip to semis
Ishmael Addo scored twice, including a "golden goal" in extra time, to keep Ghana on course for a hattrick of FIFA Under-17 World Championship titles as they edged Uruguay 3-2 in their exciting quarter-final clash on Saturday.
Ghana, who have been to the last four finals of the event, are joined in the semifinals by the United States, who also won 3-2 against Mexico in Auckland.
Both games delivered breathtaking excitement for the crowds in New Zealand with two more quarter-final clashes to come on Sunday.
Addo's brace of goals in Napier now make him the leading goalscorer at the FIFA U-17 World Championship but, more importantly, helped Ghana come back from a shock of going a goal down after just eight minutes and then having a player sent off against their South American opponents.
Ruben Oliviera's long-range shot put Uruguay into an early lead before Addo equalised and then a fortuitous own goal saw the 10-man Ghana side ahead at half-time. Substitute Sergio Leal scored in the second-half for Uruguay to take the game into extra-time and it was some 10 minutes from the end when Addo popped up to score the decider.
The Americans also had to come back from potential calamity to win their place in the last four, conceding a goal to Hector Vallejo in only the third minute and then giving away a penalty soon after, only to see goalkeeper DJ Countess make a brilliant stop.
The let off gave the Americans the impetus they needed and they scored three goals in the space of eight minutes, first through JVC Best Player of the Match DaMarcus Beasley, then Jordan Cila and finally Kyle Beckerman.
Mexico's brought the scoreline back to 2-3 in the 70th minute through substitute Yered Yanez but did not have enough after that to find an equaliser.
The Americans now play the winner of Sunday's quarterfinal in Christchurch between Australia and Qatar while Ghana await their identity of their semifinal opponent from Dunedin, where defending champions Brazil face Paraguay.