THE DAY REPLAYED - In 16 previous editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, there have now been eight occasions where five of FIFA's six confederations have been represented in the quarter-finals. This time it's Korea Republic, UAE (AFC), Ghana (CAF), Costa Rica (CONCACAF), Brazil (CONMEBOL), Germany, Hungary and Italy (UEFA) make up the last eight.
Today it was the turn of Brazil, Germany and UAE to book their place. Brazil comfortably defeated Uruguay 3-1, while UAE equalled their achievement of 2003 by emerging victorious over Venezuela 2-1 in Suez. In the evening kick-off at the Mubarak Stadium, ten-man Germany came from behind twice to defeat Nigeria with virtually the last kick of the game in one of the tournament's most memorable matches to date.
*Click on the links on the right for full reports on all of these games.
Goal of the day
Germany-Nigeria, Bjorn Kopplin 90+3
Although Alex Teixeira's second against Uruguay was of the highest quality, Bjorn Kopplin's injury time strike in Suez must go down as FIFA.com's goal of the day due to the precise finish applied by the Bayern Munich man and the circumstances which surrounded it. With the game seemingly destined for extra time, the German robbed Lukman Haruna in the centre of the park and sprinted half the length of the field before slipping the ball past the onrushing Uche Okafor and inside the far post for his side's last-gasp winner.
Sharp exit: We've all had to make them, but Cesar Farias's flight from Egypt might be a bit more dramatic than most. While the rest of the team are staying in the country for a few more days, the Venezuela coach is departing on the first available flight from Cairo, as he takes charge of the senior national team's FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against South Africa bound-Paraguay in Puerto Ordaz on Saturday. With La Vinotinto just two points away from Ecuador, who occupy fourth position, Farias finds himself moving from one high pressured situation to another.
A feast of fair play: Despite it being a South American derby with no quarter asked and no quarter given, Brazil and Uruguay gave a lesson in fair play in Port Said. It is always difficult to lose graciously, especially against such a big rival but Diego Aguirre showed his sporting nature in the post-match media conference when asked about his opponents: "Brazil have high quality players throughout their team, especially in attack. They are certainly the favourites to win the trophy," he said. Meanwhile, Brazil coach Rogerio Lourenco described Uruguay as "an excellent team" and that his players need to put in "an extraordinary performance" to win so well. He also described the game as "a classic match between the two best teams in South America."
Red moon: Fans of English football may know that song adopted by Manchester City fans is 'Blue Moon', a song written by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart back in 1934 and recorded by artists such as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan. However, in Suez it was a red moon which shone down on Nigeria and Germany during their Round of 16 match. But what caused it? Apparently, the Moon tends to look orange or red when it is rising or setting, because that is the time when the light has to travel through the most atmosphere to reach a particular place! It wasn't the only red object seen during the match, as Tobias Kempe was dismissed by referee Jorge Larrionda in the second half.
15 - Today Brazil qualified for the last eight for the 15th time in 16 appearances at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, however, A Seleção have only gone on to lift the trophy four times in 1983, 1985, 1993 and 2003. Ironically, the only time they failed to reach the quarter-finals was at the competition's last edition, Canada 2007, when they were knocked out by Spain in the Round of 16 after extra time.
"This is so typically German. Down to ten men against 11 and come from behind to win. Don't know how many times the senior team has done this. I predicted the win, but didn't expect it to be this close. The Germans showed fantastic fighting spirit and mental strength today," subwon (USA).
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