THE DAY REPLAYED - The first pair of last-16 matches at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009 were packed to the bursting point with drama. Colombia pulled off the biggest shock so far, knocking out regional rivals and title favourites Argentina in Ijebu-Ode with two goals in the last two minutes to overturn a 2-0 deficit. In Kaduna, USA went crashing out to Italy after spurning an early penalty kick and twice hitting the woodwork.
The two late games saw Turkey keep up their hopes of a first world title with a surprisingly tense 2-0 win over United Arab Emirates, while the steadily impressive Swiss knocked Germany out of a world finals for the first time since the 1938 FIFA World Cup™ in France with a 4-3 extra-time thriller in Lagos.
Two quarter-finals match-ups are now known, as Colombia will meet Turkey on 8 November in Bauchi, while the Swiss and Italy will lock horns in Ijebu-Ode that same day. The four remaining round-of-16 games will be played on 5 November.
Goal of the day
Sergio Araujo, Colombia-Argentina 57'
After River Plate defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez went on a mazy run to open the scoring against the Colombians, Boca Juniors ace Araujo did his cross-town club rival one better mid-way through the second half to double the lead. Carving his way up from the centre of the park, he bamboozled no fewer than four Colombian defenders before dipping his shoulder, cutting to his right and firing from 25 yards just inside Cristian Bonilla's far post. The quality of the goal did nothing to keep Argentine tears from flowing at the final whistle, though, as the Colombians stormed back to win the day 3-2.
Turkish early birds
Furkan Seker's opportunistic strike after two minutes against UAE in Enugu marked the third time at these finals that the Europeans scored inside three minutes of the opening whistle. Muhammet Demir hit home against Burkina Faso after three minutes, the same amount of time it took Omer Ali Sahiner to open the 4-1 rout of Costa Rica. Colombia may want to focus on defending right from the start when they meet the Turks in their quarter-final in Bauchi.
Off-key Azzurrini hit high notes
The Italian players were obviously eager at the start of their match with the USA, but unfortunately their singing could not quite match their spirit. Belting out their national anthem 'Il Canto degli Italiani' in full voice, they were all wildly off-key. Fortunately, they were able to hit the high notes with their play on the day. After substitute keeper Francesco Bardi, on for injured No1 Mattia Perin, saved a Jack McInerny penalty kick, the Europeans went on to shade it 2-1 with goals from Giacomo Beretta and Pietro Iemmello.
Cuellar's anxiety from the spot
Colombia's Gustavo Cuellar has courage; that much is a fact. After seeing his spot kick saved in the 78th minute of the final group game against Gambia in Calabar, he took a deep breath and hit home after referee Howard Webb ordered it retaken. This time, in the 68th minute against Argentina with his side 2-1 down, he scored with his first kick but missed his second after Wolfgang Stark ordered a re-take for encroachment. Fortunately for the talented midfielder, his mates were there to bail him out with a stunning late show. Will he have the guts to step up to the spot again?
Goetze goes for it
When strikers jump in front of an opposing goalkeeper's clearance it's usually for dramatic effect, or to put the net-minder off his kick. When Germany's Mario Goetze leaped in front of the Swiss No1's kick-out in the 39th minute of their contest in Kaduna, there is no way he could have imagined that it would earn his side an equaliser. Turning his back and leaping into the air, Benjamin Siegrist's kick-out cannoned off the striker's body and arced, almost apologetically, into the back of the net to bring the score to 1-1. Goetze's hard work and strange goal mattered little, however, as the Swiss won out 4-3 in extra-time.
2 - the number of minutes Jean Blanco was on the field before scoring Colombia's equaliser at the death against Argentina. It is also the number of substitutes who scored in the last two minutes of that same game (Hector Quinones being the other) and the number of times Gustavo Cuellar had to take his penalty in the 68th minute. Also, the 3-2 win is the fifth time a team have come back from a two-goal deficit in the history of the U-17 world finals.
Remaining last-16 matches (5 November)
Spain-Burkina Faso (Kano)
Mexico-Korea Republic (Bauchi)
Nigeria-New Zealand (Abuja)