Thursday, 30 August 2007

U-17 World Cup: Argentina, Peru through; Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia out

With the round of 16 games complete, only two Latin American teams remain in the U-17 World Cup.

Ghana pulled off the shock of the round, defeating the highly-fancied Brazilians 1-0, despite going down to ten men midway through the first half. Brazil played well, but lacked a cutting edge up front, consigning them to an early exit from the competition.

Peru squeezed past Tajikistan on penalties after tying 1-1 at the end of extra time. Reimand Marco have given them the lead after thirteen minutes, only for Tajikistan to hit back two minutes later. Peru goalkeeper Eder Hermoza saved Tajikstan's first penalty of the shoot-out, and his team-mates did the rest, converting all of their five penalties to book a quarter final berth.

Argentina comfortably disposed of fellow Latin American's Costa Rica 2-0 thanks to a double strike from Gaston Sauro.

Colombia conceded two late goals to lose 2-1 to Nigeria. Santiago Trellez had given the Colombian's the lead after sixty-two minutes but two goals in the last twelve minutes gave the Nigerians victory.

The quarter finals kick off on the 1st September, with the fixtures involving the remaining Latin American teams noted below:

01 September Ghana vs Peru
02 September Argentina vs Nigeria

Both Latin American sides will face tough games in two clashes of footballing culture, pitting technically gifted, short passing sides against strong and pacey African opposition.

If Argentina can progress, they will be starting to wonder whether they can complete the double of winning both the U-17 and U-20 World Cups in the same year.

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