Goal-laden thrillers set up semis

THE DAY REPLAYED – The fans around Turkey got their money's worth as both of the day's FIFA U-20 quarter-finals went could not be settled in normal time, producing two enthralling clashes providing a stunning 13 goals between them. As the dust settled, Iraq and Ghana were victorious, seeing them face Uruguay and France in the semi-finals.

Iraq got spot-kick revenge for their AFC U-19 Championship final penalty shoot-out defeat at the hands of Korea Republic, becoming the first Asian side into the last four since Japan in 1999. This came after a grandstand finish which saw two goals in the closing minutes of extra-time, with Korea's ultimately fruitless equaliser coming just 15 seconds from the final whistle.

Ghana and Chile then produced an action-packed seven-goal thriller themselves, wowing the crowd in Istanbul with a passionate showing from both teams as another strike in the depths of extra-time being scored. This time it proved crucial, seeing the African side reach the final round and see that four different confederations are represented in the Turkey 2013 semis.

The Results Quarter-finals Iraq 3-3 Korea Republic (aet; 5-4 on pens) (Faez 21' pen, Farhan 42' 118'; Changhoon 25', Gwanghun 50', Hyuncheol 120'+2) Ghana 4-3 Chile (Odjer 11', Assifuah 72' 120'+1, Salifu 113'; Castillo 23', Henriquez 27' 98')

Memorable Moments Replacements shine in Kayseri In Mohanad Abdulraheem and Ryu Seungwoo, Iraq and Korea Republic had two high-profile striking absentees for their quarter-final clash. But they need not have worried as the pair's understudies shone, while substitutes also made a quick impact on a good day for the squad player. After falling out of favour since scoring in opening game Kwon Changhoon made up for lost time against Iraq. Scoring the equaliser, he then set up Lee Gwanghun minutes after coming on. Even when making way he made an impact, as replacement Jung Hyuncheol scored a stunning equaliser to make the game 3-3 within seconds of entering the field. However, Farhan Shakor out-strips them all. Filling in for the influential Abdulraheem, he added to his winning goal in extra-time against Paraguay with two more against Korea, before slotting home the winning penalty in the shoot-out.

Stunning strikes in the Ali Sami Yen Those who turned up in Istanbul for Ghana-Chile were treated to some superb goals amongst the seven that rattled in. Firstly, the 16-year-old Moses Odjer struck a superb volley, chesting after great work from Frank Acheampong and firing home with a composed finish. Then, 12 minutes later Nicolas Castillo let rip with a thunder bolt of his own, shooting into the roof of Ghana's net from an acute angle, leaving Eric Antwi little chance at his near-post. Soon after Angelo Henriquez got another, shielding the ball fantastically to give him the space to turn and shoot in one motion on the edge of the area, picking out the bottom corner superbly. Ghana's second was a somewhat simple finish, but Clifford Aboagye's assist was masterful. Quick feet and wonderful skill saw him deceive three defenders, before flicking a pass with the outside of his right foot to Ebenezer Assifuah to smash home. Four fine pieces of football all gracing one great, goal-crazy game.

Iraq's 12th man The term '12th man' is an often-used phrase when it comes to complimenting fans, but the Iraq faithful in Kayseri gave a superb lesson to supporters around the globe into how it is done. Iraq needed every ounce of spirit to triumph on penalties against Korea Republic after conceding in the final seconds of extra time, but their fans had been filling them full of hope and pride well before kick-off. The supporters chanted the team onto the bus outside their hotel and arrived at the stadium two hours ahead of the game to build up their side. Hardly letting up through-out a match littered with setbacks for Hakeem Al Azzawi's side, the supporters can feel they played their own part in reaching the semi-finals.

Stat of the Day 5 - The last five FIFA U-20 World Cups have seen three of the quarter-finals go to extra time and/or penalties. Incredibly only one game of the last-eight in each tournament since 2005 was settled inside the regulation 90 minutes, which had only ever happened once prior to that, all the way back in 1979.

The Words

#Hero, Ebenezer Assifuah scored #Ghana's winner in the 120th minute to set up meeting with #France in the last-four pic.twitter.com/JA8MxsZ0do

— Ghana FA Official (@ghanafaofficial) July 7, 2013

Next Up 10 July (all times are local)

  • Semi-finals* France-Ghana (Bursa, 18:00) Iraq-Uruguay (Trabzon, 21:00)