THE DAY REPLAYED - The knock-out phase is slowly taking shape, with 10 teams having booked their tickets for the last 16 in the past three days. Brazil, Czech Republic and United Arab Emirates are the latest to secure their place in the knockout stages.
In Group E, Costa Rica put their 5-0 defeat to Brazil in the opening match well and truly behind them to beat Australia, inflicting a second successive defeat in the competition on the lads from Down Under. A goalless draw - only the second in the tournament so far - saw Brazil and 2007 finalists Czech Republic move up to four points each. With a win and a draw to their names, both sides progress to the Round of 16.
In Group F, Hungary emulated Costa Rica by following up a defeat with a win. The eastern Europeans thrashed South Africa 4-0, with all of the goals coming after half-time. United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, had double cause for celebration. Not only did they manage their first win of the tournament, but the three points were also enough to see UAE through to the last 16 for the third time in as many attempts at a FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Goal of the day
Australia 0-3 Costa Rica, Diego Madrigal (35).
For much of the match, Costa Rica found their attack blunted by a solid Aussie defence and failed to create any real chances. It took a stroke of genius from attacking midfielder Diego Estrada to pick the lock. Instead of going for goal when presented with a free-kick on the edge of the box, the Costa Rica number 10 slipped the ball sideways to Diego Madrigal who left two defenders for dead and slotted the ball into the corner from 18 yards out.
Canine goal hanger - Big sporting occasions often have dance troupes or bands providing the entertainment at half-time, but in Port Said it was a dog who stole the show. The four-legged friend somehow found his way onto the park and proceeded to cover the length of the pitch before settling down in the penalty area. He naturally vacated this comfy spot once the second half was ready to begin.
Twelfth man - From the Costa Rican capital of San Jose to Port Said requires a journey of some 12,000 kilometres, yet despite the distance involved, the Ticos found themselves spurred on by the cheers of around 100 fans whose banners and chants began long before kick-off in their match against Australia. The players went over to greet the fans during the pre-match warm-up, and plenty of the local spectators in the stadium were so impressed by the Central American supporters' enthusiasm that they decided to become temporary Ticos, cheering them on to victory.
Wrong tournament - Australia, Costa Rica, Brazil and Czech Republic were in action today at the Port Said Stadium, but somewhat curiously a France supporter was also spotted in the stands. Les Bleus failed to qualify for the tournament, but that did not stop one particular aficionado from watching the days' two matches, proudly sporting a Thierry Henry shirt. Of course it could have been that he was paying tribute to the fact that the Barcelona striker took part in the FIFA U-20 World Cup 1997 in Malaysia...
Strictly football - Post-goal celebrations have become part and parcel of modern football, and from Brazil to England, elaborate choreography has become the norm whenever anyone puts the ball in the back of the net. The South Africans took this a stage further in Alexandria, introducing a dance routine as part of their warm-up before the Honduras match which included rhythmic clapping and a whole host of steps, moves and turns.
3 - Costa Rica's 3-0 win over Australia equalled the Ticos' biggest win ever at a FIFA tournament. The Central American country have played a total of 67 matches to date, and Wednesday's win matched the success enjoyed by their U-17 team at the 2001 tournament against Paraguay.
"What a surprising result after what these two teams (Honduras and United Arab Emirates) showed in their first games. Honduras is still in it with a win next game. Best of luck to both teams!!!" soren20 (USA)
Have your say
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