Yet another surprise crowned the semifinal day of the 10th FIFA World Youth Championship: Japan also disposed of Uruguay in a match in Lagos which they largely dominated in the first half when they took an early lead. The Uruguayans, despite two tiring battles against South American rivals Paraguay and Brazil were physically still going strong. They came back in the second half and came close to equalising, especially in the final minutes of the match. Philippe Troussier, after ten successful years in Africa hailed as "white witch doctor", surprised himself and his association for which this was the greatest success ever for Japan's football.
Earlier on Wednesday, Spain had beaten Mali, another squad which had staged one upset after the other. Fernando Varela got two early goals for the Spaniards who squandered a series of opportunities in the second half which allowed Mali to pull one back early in the second half.