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FIFA U-20 World Cup

La Celeste book last-eight place

  • Uruguay through to Korea Republic 2017 quarter-finals
  • Captain Nicolas de la Cruz fires in penalty to clinch victory
  • Saudi Arabia miss chance to reach last eight for the first time

Uruguay edged their way into the last eight of the FIFA U-20 Word Cup after a slender 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia in Suwon – courtesy of a Nicolas de la Cruz penalty.

Yet to concede a goal, expectations would have it that, should Uruguay go ahead, then Saudi Arabia would struggle to regain parity. But the South Americans have struggled to score themselves, averaging just a goal a game.

Even so, they looked keen to give themselves the comfort of a goal buffer right from the off as chance after chance came in the opening minutes. Joaquin Ardaiz and Nicolas Schiappacasse were both guilty of spurning their fair share.

That profligacy almost came back to bite them on the break. Having shown fleeting signs of threatening, Ayman Alkhulaif fired a fierce effort inches wide to send the Uruguayans into half-time knowing they had dodged a bullet.

It took a stroke of luck to finally set the South American champions going. A handball in the box saw captain De La Cruz get the chance to put them in front from the penalty spot and he made no mistake, thundering his effort home. The Asian side had no response, crashing out at the same stage as their last appearance at Colombia 2011.

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