FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

23 May - 15 June

FIFA U-20 World Cup

Underdogs revel as last two former champs fall

USA players celebrate against France
© Getty Images
  • Korea Republic win all-Asian clash
  • Title favourites France defeated by USA
  • Argentina eliminated on penalties

THE DAY REPLAYED - Two title favourites crashed out of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 on the third and final day of the Round of 16, with France and Argentina both packing for home. France were 2-1 up at one stage of an exciting, end-to-end match, but ultimately lost 3-2 to USA after conceding seven minutes from time.

There was also a decisive, late goal in the all-Asian encounter between Korea Republic and Japan. Goalmouth action was at a premium for much of the game, but the South Koreans' victory means they have now reached the quarter-finals of this tournament for the first time since 2013.

Elsewhere, there was no separating Argentina and Mali in 90 gripping minutes of normal time. The drama continued into extra-time, when Abdoulaye Diaby inadvertently deflected a shot into his own net inside the first minute. There was to be another twist, however, as Boubacar Konte restored parity for Mali with merely seconds remaining on the clock, and the Africans ultimately prevailed on penalties.


Japan 0–1 Korea Republic
France 2–3 USA
Argentina 2–2 Mali (4-5 on penalties)

Memorable moments

Following in Lewandowski's footsteps: Sebastian Soto virtually put paid to Nigeria single-handedly in the group stage, netting a brace to secure a 2-0 win for USA. He hit another double against France, breaking the deadlock in the first half before scoring the equaliser to make it 2-2 in the second. After the match against the Flying Eagles, Soto told that Robert Lewandowski is his favourite player: "I’ve loved him since I started playing this position. My body type is like his body type. Watching how he’s played – he’s an idol.” Given Soto's exploits so far, it will be intriguing to see what he can do in the latter stages of the tournament.

A new world champion: With France and Argentina - the last two U-20 World Cup winners - now eliminated, one thing is certain ahead of the final on 15 June: a new champion will be crowned.

The words

“It's hard to say anything after this defeat. We knew we were up against a difficult team, but we were well prepared and should have caused USA problems. Our equaliser was important for our morale, but after taking the lead we weren't able to kill the game off by scoring a third goal. We're very disappointed, but we have to admit that the better side won."
Bernard Diomede (France coach)

"The most important thing was that we won. We've received fantastic support here at the stadium and at home, so it was a huge privilege for me to score this goal and to give back a little bit of what the fans have given us."
Sehun Oh (scorer of Korea Republic's winner)

See also

Knockout Phase

Up next

Quarter-finals (all times local)

7 June
Colombia-Ukraine (Lodz, 15:30)
Italy-Mali (Tychy, 18:30)

8 June
USA-Ecuador (Gdynia, 17:30)
Korea Republic-Senegal (Bielsko-Biala, 20:30)

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