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FIFA U20 World Cup Roundup- Matchdays 3 and 4 (22nd and 23rd May)

Matchday 3-Groups E and F

Group E
France 3-0 Honduras

France opened their campaign in Group E with a comfortable win over Honduras and cemented their place as one of the tournament favourites. Jean-Kevin Augustin’s piledriver of a free kick from 20 yards opened the scoring for Les Bleus after 15 minutes. Darixon Vuelto almost responded for Honduras with a swerving shot that nearly caught keeper Alban Lafont off-guard. Amine Harit’s deflected effort doubled the scoreline just before the break and Martin Terrier’s header, nine minutes before the end, sealed all three points.

Vietnam 0-0 New Zealand

Vietnam and New Zealand played out an exciting 0-0 draw in the other game in Group E. A result that saw Vietnam pick up their first ever point at a FIFA tournament. The best of the action came from the skills of the Kiwi’s keeper Michael Woud, who denied Van Hou Doan from long range and then less than a minute later was called into action to save a goal-bound corner from Quang Hai Ngyuen.

Group F
Ecuador 3-3 United States

A crazy match in which two goals in the first 10 minutes and an equaliser in added time opened proceedings in Group F. Herlin Leno and Bryan Cabezas scored one a piece to give Ecuador a 2-0 lead after only seven minutes after some poor defending by the US players. Josh Sargent got one back for his side on 36 minutes. He scored his second of the game with a fine header on 54 minutes to equalise for the USA. However, Ecuador once again took the lead 10 minutes later with Cabezas pouncing on a poor clearance by Joshua Klinsmann, son of German legend and former head coach of the USA Men’s National Team. Luca de la Torre struck in the fourth minute of added time to give the US team a share of the points.

Saudi Arabia 0-2 Senegal

Two early goals were enough to see Senegal take the win against Saudi Arabia. Ibrahima Niane scored the first of these on 13 minutes with a sweetly struck volley inside the area and just two minutes later, Calvin Diagne hit an even better strike to double the lead and give Senegal all three points. Saudi Arabia could have been on the receiving end of a worse scoreline, had it not been for the heroics of Mohammed Almayi in their goal.

Matchday 4-Groups A and B

Group A
England 1-1 Guinea

A bizarre won goal by Fikayo Tomori gifted Guinea their first ever point in the U20 World Cup. In a game where England were dominating mostly. Oumar Toure nearly opened the scoring for Guinea, however, but eventually, Lewis Cook’s strike in the second half looked to have sealed all three points for England. Just six minutes afterwards, however, Tomori played a long and heavy backpass to keeper Dean Henderson, which bobbled over his leg and ended up in the goal. Alseny Soumah could have won the match for the African side, but his one on one effort was well saved by Henderson.

South Korea 2-1 Argentina

The hosts South Korea booked their place in the round of 16 with a convincing win over an Argentina side surprisingly struggling. Barcelona prospect Lee Seung Woo opened the scoring for the hosts on 18 minutes and his team-mate at club and country level, Paik Seung Ho, doubled the lead just before the break from the penalty spot after a foul by Argentina goalkeeper Franco Petroli. Argentina scored what turned out to be a consolation five minutes after the restart, but the result leaves Argentina needing a win against Guinea to have a chance of qualifying for the last 16.

Group B
Venezuela 7-0 Vanuatu

The Oceanian minnows succumbed to the superior ability of their South American opponents in a crushing defeat that has seen their qualification hopes all but ended. Vanuatu held out until the 30th minute, when Williams Velasquez scored a fine header. The second goal came in unique circumstances as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) confirmed that despite Sergio Cordova being in an offside position, the ball to him had come from the head of a Vanuatu player. Adalberto Penaranda got the third just after the break, not long before keeper Wuilker Farinez converted a penalty on 56 minutes aftr a handball in the box. Cordova scored a second before in the last 10 minutes Jan Hurtado and Samuel Sosa scored to finalise the 7-0 scoreline for Venezuela.

Mexico 0-0 Germany

Mexico and Germany played out a scoreless draw with few chances, leaving Germany on the brink of a surprising elimination from the competition. Fabian Reese had one of the best chances of the match, firing over after a rebound fell to his feet, while at the other end Benedikt Gimber almost scored a calamitous own goal after mixing up his clearance. Abraham Romoero was the hero of the day for the Mexicans, making key saves throughout to ensure his team will only need a point against Venezuela to progress, while Germany must beat Vanuatu to stand any chance of qualifying.

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