Our quarter-final opponents are set. It’s Italy, the powerhouse of Europe.
The Azzurri defeated Colombia 3-1 in the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 in San Juan, Argentina, on Thursday (4 June). The Azzurri are through to the quarter-finals. The Azzurri have now reached the quarter-finals of three consecutive U-20 World Cups, starting with the 2017 edition in South Korea, followed by the 2019 edition in Poland. This is the first time in their history that they have reached three consecutive quarter-finals.
Korea will face Nigeria in the quarter-finals at 2.30am on 5 May, with a win setting up a fourth-place clash with Italy. Kim’s U-20s went through the group stages unbeaten for the first time in their history, and then went on to beat Ecuador 3-2 in the round of 16 thanks to a flurry of goals. South Korea, who finished runners-up at the 2019 tournament in Poland, reached the quarter-finals for the first time in their history under Kim’s leadership. Nigeria are a formidable opponent in the quarter-finals, having beaten ‘hosts’ Argentina 2-0. Nigeria had previously defeated Italy 2-0 in the group stage.
The Italians took the lead in the ninth minute through Cassaday. It was Cassaday’s sixth goal of the tournament, making him the top scorer. The Inter Milan youth product moved to English Premier League side Chelsea in August last year. In January this year, he was loaned to Reading of the Championship. After a strong start, Italy sealed the win when Baldanchi added a second in the 38th minute. Esposito added a second a minute into the second half to seal the win. Colombia had to settle for a late goal from Torres in the fourth minute to avoid defeat. Italy will be looking for their first ever title. Their best result so far is third place.
Another quarter-final was an upset. Israel won their quarter-final against Brazil 3-2 in extra time at the San Juan Stadium. This was Israel’s first appearance at the tournament and they were delighted to reach the quarter-finals in their first tournament. After finishing as runners-up at last year’s U-19 European Championship, the Israelis have come out of nowhere to steal the spotlight. Coincidentally, the previous hosts, Indonesia, were stripped of their rights to host the tournament in Argentina because they objected to Israel’s participation.
After a 0-0 first half in which the Israelis held off a strong Brazilian attack, they conceded the opening goal in the 11th minute of the second half. Martins’ exquisite pass to Leonardo shook the Israeli goal with a powerful finish. Israel fought back. In the 15th minute of the second half, Carlisle equalised with a stunning header. The game was headed for extra time.
Brazil took the lead again. In the first minute of overtime, Brazil put together a great passing play, which Nascimento neatly finished. Israel equalised again almost immediately. A cross was headed in by Sibley. Spurred on, Israel scored the final goal of the game in the first minute of extra time when Tuzerman beat two Brazilian defenders to score a stunning goal. Israel missed a penalty late in extra time, but held on for the win 메이저놀이터.
Israel, which finished second in Group C, won its third group game against Japan and its Round of 16 match against Uzbekistan, both with late goals in stoppage time. Against Brazil, they made it 3-2 in first-half stoppage time, continuing their winning ways with a series of ‘theatre goals’. Brazil boosted their chances of a sixth title with a 4-1 victory over Tunisia in the round of 16, but were stymied by a surge from Israel.
The Israelis, who are making their first appearance at the U-20 World Cup, will play the winner of the USA-Uruguay final at 2.30am on 9 September.