Spain and Argentina fulfilled the pre-tournament predictions by taking first and second place respectively in Group C. The big story of the pool was provided by outsiders Syria, who finished among the top four third-placed teams to advance to the next round.
The tale of the teams
Spain: The Iberians were the most consistent outfit on show, serving up plenty of fluent football in their three games. With the brilliant Bojan and Camacho leading the way on the field, De Gea providing a reliable pair of hands in goal and an armada of talented replacements on the bench, Spain look worthy of their favourites tag.
Argentina: The Albiceleste improved as the group went on, occasionally hitting the heights in a stop-go performance in game two against Honduras. Solid at the back, conceding only two goals in three games, they will nevertheless need to sharpen up in front of goal if they are to advance further.
Syria: The Middle Easterners surprised many by reaching the knockout stages courtesy of a draw with Argentina and a win over the Catrachos. Coach Mohamad Aljomaa has put together a compact, tactically organised and defensively solid unit. Players to watch are midfielder Tamer Haj Mohamd and livewire striker Mohammad Abadi.
Honduras: Despite giving Spain an uncomfortable time, taking the lead against Argentina and troubling the Syrians, Honduras went home without a single point to their name. "We paid dearly for our lack of experience, but I'm sure we'll reap the benefits of our stay here," assured coach Miguel Escalante. Marauding front man Christian Martinez is one to watch for the future.
Moments to savour
• Bojan's brace for Spain against Honduras: the first a gentle lob over the keeper's head; the second a right-foot piledriver following a silky shimmy.
• The gasps from the crowd when Syria forward Mohammad Abadi thundered a 25-yard piledriver against the Argentinian bar in Ulsan.
• The torrential rain that soaked the Spain and Syria players to the skin in the first half of their game in Ulsan.
• Dani Aquino's last-minute winner against the Syrians, which took Spain into the next round.
The numbers game
The number two has proved to be both lucky and unlucky for group winners Spain. Three of their players have two goals to their name so far at Korea 2007, with both Bojan and Jordi scoring their braces in one game, and Aquino notching against Syria and Argentina. On the downside, two is the number of times the woodwork has denied them; Camacho (against Syria) and Iago (against Argentina) being the unlucky shooters.
The closing remarks
"We are absolutely thrilled to have beaten Honduras. We knew we had the spirit to pick ourselves up after losing to Spain in the last minute and get the three points we needed to go through. We'll just try to go as far as we can now," Mohamad Aljomaa (Syria coach).