Group F was always going to be tough. Champions Brazil faced African and Asian continental winners, Nigeria and Korea Republic, along with a Swiss side almost consistent with the names that grabbed the European crown at U-17 level. After much blood, sweat and tears, Brazil and Nigeria emerged triumphant on the very last day to progress to the Round of 16.
1. Brazil, 7 points
As usual, it was a slow beginning (0-0, Nigeria) but eventually the champions managed to move up a gear (1-0, Switzerland; 2-0 Korea Republic) to cruise through. For those expecting a selecao side full of flair, tricks and other crowd-pleasing antics, the current crop of U-20 stars may not fit the bill. Instead Rene Weber's boys are a solid, efficient and defensively sound group with team-work being the key to success. A threat largely from the wings thanks to the forays forward of Rafael and Fabio Santos, goals have been at a premium though goalkeeper Renan is still to concede.
2. Nigeria, 4 points
Save for a few moments of madness in their middle game, when Korea Republic scored twice in the dying minutes to win 2-1, Nigeria impressed. Defensively sound, energetic, fast and dangerous going forward, Samson Siasia's side have the ability to become the first African nation to lift the world youth crown. They more than held their own against Brazil in the opening match and showed character, determination and skill in abundance to bury the highly rated Swiss in the crucial third game. The elegant John Obi Mikel has impressed again while a batch of strikers have caught the eye in Promise Isaac, Solomon Okoronkwo, David Abwo and Chinedu Ogbuke.
3. Korea Republic, 3 points
The only Asian side to bow out at the opening stage, Korea Republic will be bitterly disappointed they did not take advantage of their late great comeback win against Nigeria in the second match. Finally running out of stamina against Brazil (2:0), they worked tenaciously and with no little skill. In defender Kim Jin-kyu, midfielder Baek Ji-hoon and striker Park Chu-young they have the backbone of the Taeguk Warrior's side of the future. The first game, 2-1 loss to Switzerland, always looked like being crucial and so it proved.
4. Switzerland, 3 points
It all went to pieces for one of the best Swiss side's in recent years. With a number of players plying their trade in Europe's top clubs, the cohesion and confidence displayed in Switzerland's opening win versus Korea had many observers predicting Pierre-Andre Schuermann's crop could well be among the favourites for the title itself. Instead, after a slim loss to Brazil 1-0, they failed to live up to the hype and fell disappointingly away in the final match against Nigeria. What it all means for the senior national side will be revealed in years to come.