- First semi-final spots up for grabs
- Venezuela, Uruguay out to keep up South American presence
- Portugal stand as only remaining former champions
MATCHDAY PREVIEW – Having fought their way to being one the final eight sides on the bill in Korea Republic, as little as 90 minutes separates the remaining sides from extending their FIFA U-20 World Cup visits right until the final weekend.
The first to take a swipe at booking their semi-final spot are Venezuela and USA, with Portugal and Uruguay looking to earn a meeting with the victor in Daejeon on 8 June.
What you need to know
The very best burgundy: While this is already Venezuela’s premier showing at a U-20 World Cup, La Vinotinto would be certain of matching their best showing at a FIFA tournament should they edge past USA. Only their U-17 women’s side will have done better, having finished fourth at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup at the last two tournaments, inspired by up-and-coming starlet Deyna Castellanos.
Personal podium in sight for Sargent: With already four games in four games to his name, Josh Sargent can step out on his own as the USA’s most prolific marksman at a U-20 World Cup. Surpassing the tally held by Stars and Stripes alumni Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson and Tyler Twellman will be no mean feat, however, as Venezuela are still yet to concede in Korea Republic.
A Seleção ton: Portugal’s history at the U-20 World Cup is well-known. Having clinched titles in 1989 and 1990, they stand as the only former winners left among this tournament’s eight remaining challengers. They also sit on 99 goals across their ten appearances but, like Sargent, with Uruguay yet to see their backline breached, it will be a milestone well-earned.
South American expectations: Uruguay and Venezuela will have the weight of history on their shoulders when they step out in Daejeon and Jeonju. It is 36 years since the last time a South American side were absent from the semi-finals, with a late defeat to Romania seeing La Celeste miss out on the final four in Australia.
More from Korea Republic
— U.S. Soccer YNT (@ussoccer_ynt) June 2, 2017