THE DAY REPLAYED – Today's first quarter-final concluded in incomparable drama. Its second ceased in incomparable despair. Ultimately, as Portugal and Mexico were left celebrate last-four places, Argentina and Colombia were left to commiserate elimination.
The Iberians' finishing had deserted them during 120 goalless minutes with the record six-time champions, and it was effectively certain to cost them a place in the last four after spot-kicks from Danilo and Roderick were saved by Esteban Andrada. Portugal needed to convert their last two attempts and hope Argentina missed theirs just to take it to sudden death. And that is exactly what happened thanks to the reflexes of Mika, who went on to save his third penalty and clinch a 5-4 victory - and one of the most sensational shoot-out comebacks in football history - for Ilidio Vale's team.
The remaining game begin amid an exceptional atmosphere in Bogota, where the masses were raring to roar Colombia into the semis. Ninety minutes later and those supporters' dreams had been destroyed, a 3-1 success enhancing what is a magical meridian for Mexican football.
Portugal 0-0 Argentina (Portugal win 5-4 on penalties)
Mexico 3-1 Colombia
Goal of the day
Four goals were scored today. The first was a mishit penalty which crept under Bonilla's body. The second was a strike that somehow went under legs of the Mexico keeper. The last was one that went through the hands of the Colombia No1. So while the third was hardly a goal of the tournament contender, it was well-taken, fundamental and worth its place here. Ulises Davila whipped in a corner and, despite having his vision impaired by two Colombian defenders, substitute Edson Rivera arched back his head and with it generated sufficient power to beat Bonilla and hit the roof of his net.
Booing their own
Porto may be the Portuguese champions, but they didn't have one representative on the field as today's first quarter-final kicked off. That changed on the hour, though the incoming substitute got a boo rather than a cheer from the contingent of Dragões followers in Cartagena. That's because Argentina's Juan Iturbe was striving to harm the fans he will aim to please at club level.
After 90 exhausting minutes amid the high altitude of Cartagena, several of the Portuguese players tucked into an energiser. It was not, however, a banana or an energy bar. Instead, they were given a plastic spoon and tub filled with jelly!
When a Jose Rodriguez howler gifted Colombia an equaliser, his deputy keeper frantically tried to get the attention of the Guadalajara man to offer his support. Despite his desperate attempts, however, the flailing arms went unnoticed. Not that the blooper affected Rodriguez: he made fine saves from James Rodriguez and Luis Muriel thereafter to continue the trend of no host nation reaching the semi-finals since Argentina in 2001.
480 – The number of minutes Portugal's Mika has gone without conceding in Colombia, leaving him just 12 minutes short of the record for a goalkeeper at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Chile's Christopher Toselli went 492 minutes unbeaten in 2007, while Taffarel managed 484 without leaking a goal in 1985. Furthermore, Mika's penalty-saving heroics helped the Portuguese return to the semi-finals of the competition for the first time in 16 years, and mean they have now won a record three shoot-outs in the event. Argentina, meanwhile, have now lost their last three shoot-outs in FIFA competitions, all against European opposition, following eliminations by Germany at the FIFA World Cup™ five years ago and Englnd at the FIFA U-17 World Cup last month.
France and Nigeria will do battle at 3pm on Sunday for the right to face Portugal in the semi-finals, three hours before Brazil and Spain compete for a crack at Mexico.
Have your say
What have been the best penalty shoot-out comebacks you have ever seen?