After easing into the semi-finals of the Boys’ Youth Olympic Football Tournament 2014, gold-medal favourites Korea Republic and Peru each face awkward opponents as they continue their pursuit of glory in Nanjing.
The matches Peru - Cape Verde Islands, Jiangning Sports Centre Stadium, Sunday 24 August, 18:00 (local time)
Peru reached the second stage of the competition thanks to strong performances in victories over Iceland and Honduras to top the group standings. However, the South Americans will have to raise their game if they are to keep their dream of reaching the final alive. Coach Juan Jose Ore must do without Darwin Melendez, who scored a header in the 3-1 win over Honduras, as the striker is suspended.* *The Cape Verde squad have already etched their names into the record books after sealing a last-four berth at their maiden outing at a FIFA tournament and the islanders will go into the match buoyed by an impressive 7-1 thrashing of Vanuatu. “We can’t underestimate our opponent,” Ore warned. “In this competition there are no easy games. We’ll do everything we can to reach the final.”
*Korea Republic - Iceland, Jiangning Sports Centre Stadium, Sunday 24 August, 20:45 (local time)
*Korea Republic showcased their considerable talents as they strolled into the semi-finals with two comfortable wins over Cape Verde (5-0) and Vanuatu (9-0). Facing Iceland should provide the young *Taeguk Warriors *with their first real challenge as the Europeans have shown no signs of stage fright on their debut appearances at a FIFA competition. Indeed, they have looked at home at this level, recording a remarkable 5-0 opening triumph over Honduras before narrowly losing to Peru in an evenly-balanced encounter. Coach Freyr Sverrisson’s side could cause the gold-medal favourites a few headaches, as they boast a solid defence and an ability to counter-attack at speed by exploiting the pace of Jonatan Jonsson and Hilmar Andrew McShane. *
The stat 0 - The South Koreans’ attacking play may have grabbed headlines in Nanjing but their back line has been equally as impressive; the Asians are the only side at the competition yet to concede a goal.
The player to watch *Kim Gyuhyeon (KOR)
*Having hit the net five times so far, Korea Republic’s Kim Gyuhyeon is currently the tournament’s top scorer. The Ulsan Hyundai FC midfielder grabbed four against Vanuatu, scoring a hat-trick inside 17 minutes.
*Did you know? *Cape Verde’s senior international side are known as the Blue Sharks and in 2013 they caused a sensation by progressing to the CAF Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals in their first appearance at the competition.