Semi-finals already within reach
Iceland and Korea Republic have an opportunity to secure their passage into the semi-finals on the second matchday of the Boys’ Youth Olympic Football Tournament Nanjing 2014, with a draw sufficient for both teams after their dominant opening wins. Opponents Peru and Vanuatu, both playing their first games of the competition, will be looking to avoid any slip-ups to give themselves the best chance of progressing.
The matches Iceland - Peru, Jiangning Sports Centre Stadium, Monday 18 August, 18:00 local time Iceland made a flying start to the tournament, giving Honduras absolutely no chance with a resounding 5-0 win. Although this performance will give the Northern European side confidence ahead of their second group match against Peru, coach Freyr Sverrisson told FIFA.com that they cannot get carried away: “There are some strong teams at this tournament and Peru are among them, but we’ll make every effort to win a medal in the end.”
However, the Peruvians are similarly keen to get their hands on some precious metal. In 2013, coach Juan Jose Ore proved his aptitude for promoting and developing young talent to the highest level, when guiding the national team to the South American U-15 Championship.
Korea Republic - Vanuatu, Jiangning Sports Centre Stadium, Monday 18 August, 20:45 local time Everything is going to plan so far for Korea Republic - firmly among the title favourites - who delivered a supremely confident performance in a 5-0 opening match success against Cape Verde Islands. Having won the Asian Youth Games 2013, also held in Nanjing, midfielder Im Wharang and his team are now keen to write the next chapter in South Korea’s footballing history. “Winning last year was an incredible moment,” the Young Taeguk Warriors No7 told FIFA.com**. “I hope we can maintain our good form in this beautiful Chinese city.”
To do that, they will first have to overcome Vanuatu. This is the Oceania side's second trip to the Boys’ Youth Olympic Football Tournament, having previously played at the 2010 competition in Singapore. They lost both their group matches to Bolivia and Haiti that year, but were able to secure fifth place with a 2-0 victory over Zimbabwe – a result the Pacific islanders will be keen to improve upon in Nanjing.
The stat 10 – With a combined ten goals from their opening games, Iceland and Korea Republic have already hit the target as many times at Nanjing 2014 as bronze medallists Singapore did in their four games four years ago.
The player to watch Jonatan Jonsson (ISL) The spotlight was on hat-trick hero Helgi Gudjonsson after Iceland’s formidable opening victory, but Jonatan Jonsson also made a significant contribution to his team’s success. The lively midfielder kept his opponents on their toes throughout and impressed with his high-tempo dribbling and pinpoint passing. The Peruvian defence should be extremely wary of Iceland’s No9.
Did you know? The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang. They are the second Olympic Games to be held in Korea Republic, following the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul.