THE DAY REPLAYED - An eventful matchday packed with memorable moments at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 ended with seven nations definitely through to the Round of 16, while others revived their hopes of places in the next round. Spain, Venezuela, Ghana and Uruguay all sit proudly on maximum points and are assured of a top two finish, while today's results also ensured that Italy, Paraguay and Germany - all on four points - will join them in the next round as, at worst, they will finish as one of the four best third-placed teams.
In Group D, Ghana and Uruguay won convincingly to seal berths in the last sixteen. Both teams moved onto six points and can no longer be reeled in by defeated opponents England and Uzbekistan, who meet in the final group match. Only the winner of that game retains any hope at all of making the next stage.
The situation in Group C is a lot tighter, as Korea Republic and USA, both losers first time out, bounced back in style. The Koreans came from a goal down to secure a fully merited draw with Germany, avoiding the fate of going into their final match with only a theoretical chance of the next stage. There was an even more impressive fightback from the US, who brushed aside Cameroon 4-1 and will be bursting with confidence ahead of the final matchday.
Goal of the day
Ghana-England 4-0, Andre Ayew (57)
The Africans muscled their way to a thoroughly convincing victory, the pick of the goals being Andre Ayew's belter to make the score 2-0. Ayew advanced through the midfield area before letting fly from fully 25 yards, smacking an unstoppable left-foot drive past England keeper Elliott Parish and in at the corner. The spectacular strike from the Ghana number 10 drew gasps from the crowd and left the England defenders shaking their heads in disbelief.
Come Dancing: During their demolition job on England, Ghana not only showed scintillating skill on the ball, but also real flair and rhythm when it came to celebrating their goals. After Dominic Adiyiah's opener, the scorer and his team-mates gathered by the corner flag and danced for joy, earning full marks for imaginative choreography and coordination.
We've been framed: In a thriller of a game with a welter of goalmouth action, Uruguay dominated the play only to come up against immovable objects in the shape of Uzbekistan keeper Sanjar Kuvvatov or the goal frame. The South Americans finally opened their account on 28 minutes, but they continued to be dogged by exceedingly poor fortune, hitting post or bar an incredible six times in the course of the 90 minutes, one of those being a Santiago Garcia miss from the spot.
Art of Noise: Korea Republic may have been far from home, but they were not without support at their meeting with Germany in Suez. The crowd, included pupils from the Cairo Korean School who had been bussed in, put up a barrage of noise as they roared their heroes on. During the pre-match national anthems, the buzzing fans unrolled a giant Korean flag, before spending the next 90 minutes chanting, singing and drumming their support. It worked too, as the Koreans came from behind to salvage a draw.
Whistle a Happy Tune: The day featured another entry in the roll of honour at FIFA's second biggest and second oldest tournament. Match official Oscar Ruiz, who took charge of the Korea Republic versus Germany clash, refereed his tenth game at a FIFA U-20 World Cup and set a new record in the process. The Columbian previously officiated at the 1997, 2003 and 2005 finals.
3 - They say all good things come in threes, and the USA will sign up for that after their 4-1 victory over Cameroon, as it was the North Americans' third win on the bounce against an African team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The US juniors beat Egypt in a 2005 group fixture, after beating Cote d'Ivoire 2-0 in the Round of 16 four years earlier. Today's win takes coach Thomas Rongen and his players a step closer to this year's knockout stages.
"Got to give it to the americans! After a weak beginning they bounced back BIG TIME! Showing why they have taken number 1 in Concacaf a long time ago! Congrats USA!!!" BrodiFAAbs (Brazil)
Have your say
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