Group E: Favourites prove their mettle
© Foto-net

Expectation levels were high in Ottawa for the footballing fiesta on offer in Group E. Drawn together were the title holders, the European Championship semi-finalists and the reigning Asian champions, while minnows Panama were also determined to play their part. After a goalless opening matchday, the section burst into life with goals and incidents aplenty.

How it finished
1. Argentina, 7 points
2. Czech Republic, 5 points
3. Korea DPR, 2 points
4. Panama, 1 point

What's next
Argentina - Poland, 12 July, Toronto
Japan - Czech Republic, 11 July, Victoria

What happened
Argentina: Outstanding performances from keeper Sergio Romero, Ever Banega in midfield and forward Sergio ' El Kun' Aguero, helped ease the reigning champions into first place. Yet to concede a goal, the Albicelestes brought their full array of attacking talent to bear in the 6-0 win against Panama. Defending champions looking good in quest to defend their title.

Czech Republic: Miroslav Soukup's side mirrored their European qualifying campaign with their tactically disciplined displays, picking up five points along the way. A sprinkling of individual quality from the likes of Martin Fenin and Marek Suchy and an indefatigable fighting spirit mean that Czech optimism could prove well-founded.

KoreaDPR: Putting in a series of nerveless performances on this their first FIFA U-20 World Cup, the Asian champions earned the admiration of Canadian supporters. Poor finishing proved to be their downfall, particularly against Panama and Argentina. Nevertheless, striker Kum Il Kim was able to establish himself as a real fans' favourite.

Panama: The Canaleros started off promisingly with a point against the North Koreans, their first at a FIFA World Cup. A 6-0 thrashing by Argentina in their second game cruelly dashed Panamanian hopes on their third consecutive FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign. Luis Mejia and Gabriel Torres showed glimpses of future promise.

Moments to savour
A superb display by Panama keeper Luis Mejia in his side's opener against Korea DPR. At just 16 years of age, Mejia's heroics helped the Canaleros to their first FIFA World Cup point.

Kum Il Kim's stunning goal against Czech Republic, his country's first-ever strike in the history of this competition.

The protective face masks worn by Czech Republic's Marek Suchy and Argentina's Lautaro Acosta that, while less than aesthetically pleasing, were certainly practical.

Sergio Aguero's celebrations after his free-kick goal against Korea DPR. The diminutive forward ran 30 metres to embrace Damian Escudero, sidelined after a muscle injury.

The rousing ovation given by fans in Ottawa to the North Korean players. Stirring applause and genuine warmth marked the Asian debutants' farewell to Canada 2007.

The numbers game
Argentina's four goals in seven minutes against Panama set a new FIFA U-20 World Cup record, beating Brazil's four in nine minutes against Korea Republic at Malaysia 1997.

The final word
Miroslav Soukup, Czech Republic coach:
"The 0-0 draw against Argentina was a historic result for us. In fact, I'm certain that it was one of the biggest moments in the careers of the players and the coaching staff. What do I aspire to achieve in football? Well, it would have been a dream come true to have won that game!"