Hosts through, Colombia excel, Mexico stay alive
© Getty Images

The calculators were out in Turkey on Friday as a host of teams pushed for places in the Round of 16, with things ending so tight in Group D that lots had to be drawn to decide the winner of the section, a rare event in FIFA competitions.

Mexico put in a late burst to join Korea Republic as one of the four best third-placed teams, sealing the fate of El Salvador in the process. Despite being homeward bound, Los Cuscatlecos can at least look back with satisfaction on a tournament in which they recorded their first ever win in a FIFA event on grass. Australia are also packing their bags after enduring their 13th consecutive FIFA U-20 World Cup™ match without a victory.

The results 
Group C 
Australia 1-2 Turkey (Trabzon) 
Goals: Jamie MacLaren 52 (Australia); Hakan Calhanoglu 54, Okay Yokuslu 87 (Turkey)
El Salvador 0-3 Colombia (Gaziantep) 
Goals: Andres Renteria 21, Jhon Cordoba 25 pen, Juan Quintero 90

Group D 
Greece 1-1 Paraguay (Trabzon) 
Goals: Dimitrios Diamantakos 68 (Greece); Brian Montenegro 73 (Paraguay)
Mali 1-4 Mexico (Gaziantep) 
Goals: Marco Bueno 2, Jesus Corona 13, Jesus Escoboza 69, Uvaldo Luna 86 (Mexico); Samba Diallo 62 (Mali) 

Memorable moments
Quick off the mark: Having made the slowest of starts to the competition, Mexico finally hit the accelerator against Mali, with Marco Bueno pouncing on a Germain Berthe error to give them the lead in a tournament-fastest 87 seconds. As quick as it was, Bueno’s strike is still a good way behind the all-time competition record held by Nigeria’s Monday Odiaka, who needed just 14 seconds to put his side in front against Canada back in 1985. 

58 points in Scrabble: Greece’s Konstantinos Triantafyllopoulos is sure to remember one particular moment in his side’s final group match against Paraguay. Struck 11 minutes in by the elbow of Gustavo Gomez, who marked the 36th anniversary of the first red card in the tournament’s history by later picking up one of his own, the Greek defender was forced to go off nine minutes before half-time. He then sat by the touchline for a while as a member of Greece’s coaching staff posed him questions, just to make sure he knew where he was. Was he, by chance, asked if he could remember his family name, a Scrabble player’s dream at fully 18 letters long, by some distance the longest in the tournament?

Shoeless Jesus: Mexico needed to win big against Mali to overtake Ghana on goal difference and increase their chances of going through as one of the best third-placed sides. They did just that, thanks in no small part to Jesus Escoboza’s remarkable 69th-minute goal, which put them 3-1 up. Undaunted by the loss of his right boot as he charged towards goal, the Santos Laguna improvised on the spot and, like the Messiah walking on water, calmly stroked the ball with his left past the Mali keeper.

The perfect lob: There were no shortage of superb goals on Friday, though none of them could match Turkey’s winner against Australia, who had earlier moved into pole position when McLaren headed home a cross sent in by Williams (strange, but true). The hosts equalised only two minutes later and eased the nerves of a nation when Okay Yokuslu put himself firmly in contention for the goal of the tournament with a delicious lob from fully 25 metres out. 

The luck of the draw: It is not very often lots need to be drawn in a major competition but that is exactly what happened at the conclusion of the Group D match between Greece and Paraguay. Though fortune favoured the section-topping Greeks, there was no real damage done for Los Albirrojos, who progressed as runners-up. The same procedure was last used at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 to decide which of USA and New Zealand would take second and third place, again in Group D. However, the most dramatic case of lot drawing came at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Finland 2003, when the fates decreed that Nigeria should catch an early plane home.

The stat of the day
10 - Colombia have now gone ten years without losing a FIFA U-20 World Cup group match, winning nine pool games in that time and drawing three. It has also been ten years since the Australians safely negotiated the first round of the world’s premier youth tournament. In that time the Socceroos have gone a record 13 consecutive matches without a win. 

The words 


"It ain't over till it's over. Everywhere and always, Turkey is the best. Congrats to all my mates for their efforts!"
Turkey's Sadık Ciftpınar  

Next up 
29 June (all local times) 
Group E 
Iraq-Chile (21:00, Antalya) 
Egypt-England (21:00, Bursa) 

Group F 
Uzbekistan-Uruguay (18:00, Antalya) 
Croatia-New Zealand (18:00, Bursa)