- Pinamonti panenka sees off hosts
- Colombia eke past Kiwis on penalties
- Both sides will feature in quarter-final matches on 7 June
THE DAY REPLAYED – Italy and Colombia became the first teams to clinch quarter-final places on Sunday as the Round of 16 kicked off at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019.
The first berth came at the expense of the hosts, with Italy defeating Poland 1-0 in Gdynia behind Andrea Pinamonti's cheeky chip from the penalty spot. Gli Azzurri held on to the lead they seized in the 38th minute thanks in large part to the steady play of goalkeeper Alessandro Plizzari, who made multiple second-half saves to secure advancement.
Los Cafeteros started quickly in the nightcap. Forward Ivan Angulo served up his set-piece on a platter for Andres Reyes to head home in the 11th minute. Elijah Just answered before the first half was over, however, leaving nothing to separate the two sides all the way through to a penalty shoot-out. Colombia keeper Kevin Mier made the winning save, stretching out to his left to deny Matt Conroy.
Goal of the day
Goal: 1-0 Andrea Pinamonti (38')
Milestones marked: Both sides in the day's first match-up walked away having reached uncommon heights. With their win, Italy will make back-to-back appearances in the U-20 World Cup quarter-finals for the first time. On the opposite end, Poland can leave with their heads held a bit higher knowing that they advanced to only their second Round of 16 appearance since 1983.
Forza Walukiewicz: Poland's Sebastian Walukiewicz had his antipasto of Italian football on Sunday with the main course soon to come. The 19-year-old centre-back reached an agreement with Cagliari this past January and will ship over to Sardinia next season.
“I didn’t know he would take the penalty that way. You have to have a strong character to do that. The important thing was that he scored at the end. He tried something very technical that not every player can do.”
Paolo Nicolato (Italy coach)
“The players and myself are very disappointed, but this was a fantastic experience for us. We spent a lot of time together in this adventure and we learned a lot. Life doesn’t stop with this defeat.”
Jacek Magiera (Poland coach)