U-20 World Cup 2017 Results: Portugal, Venezuela Progress to Quarter-Finals

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2017

South Korea fans hold a giant national flag during the U-20 World Cup round of 16 football match between South Korea and Portugal in Cheonan on May 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / KIM Doo-Ho        (Photo credit should read KIM DOO-HO/AFP/Getty Images)
KIM DOO-HO/Getty Images

Portugal cruised past host nation South Korea 3-1 in the last 16 of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Tuesday. 

The Selecao were clinical early on, as goals from Bruno Xadas and Bruno Costa gave them a two-goal lead at the break. Xadas added his second midway through the second period to make the game safe, before Lee Sang-Heon snatched a consolation.

Earlier in the day, Venezuela continued their impressive form at the tournament, as they eventually overcame Japan 1-0 after extra time. Manchester City youngster Yangel Herrera netted the winner in the 108th minute.

Three more quarter-finalists will be determined on Wednesday, as Uruguay take on Saudi Arabia, England face Costa Rica and Zambia go up against Germany.

Here's a reminder of how the action panned out at the tournament on Tuesday.

     

Tuesday Recap

Venezuela's Yangel Herrera (R) celebrates his goal during their U-20 World Cup round of 16 football match between Venezuela and Japan in Daejeon on May 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je        (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
JUNG YEON-JE/Getty Images

With a sizeable home crowd in attendance, Portugal would have been keen to put together a strong start and sap any buzz from the atmosphere. And they did exactly that with a brilliant display.

A fluid move gave the Selecao the lead, with Xadas applying the finishing touch. And while the host nation responded well to the early setback, Portugal pounced on the break to score for a second time, with Costa lashing home from 20 yards.

As noted by sports journalist Tom Kundert, from that point on the European side were in total control of the match:

In the second period, South Korea needed to make their possession count a little more, but they lacked the conviction needed to get back into the game. And eventually it was Xadas, outstanding throughout, who made the game safe with a brilliant individual goal.

Scouted Football was impressed with the performance of the young Portuguese:

The hosts did at least give their supporters something to cheer late on, as Lee gave the scoreline a more respectable look. Portugal, meanwhile, will face either Saudi Arabia or Uruguay in the last eight.

In the day's early fixture Venezuela had to bide their time against Japan but eventually came through late on. 

Venezuela eventually battled past Japan.
Venezuela eventually battled past Japan.JUNG YEON-JE/Getty Images

The Vinotinto were the standout side in the group stages of the competition, putting together three consecutive wins. But they were frustrated by a determined opponent for long spells here.

Adalberto Penaranda, Yeferson Soteldo and Ronaldo Pena were all threatening for Venezuela early in the game, but they couldn't apply the decisive touch in front of goal. Japan did offer a threat on the counter and particularly from set pieces, with Ritsu Doan rattling the bar.

Still, neither side could find a breakthrough in normal time and after another goalless 15 minutes in extra time, penalties loomed. Herrera saved the Venezuela supporters from that torture, though, heading home a corner with 12 minutes on the clock.

Sports journalist David Cartlidge was impressed with the performance of the South Americans and particularly that of Herrera:

The cohesion the team have showcased at this tournament so far was able to see Venezuela through to a memorable win; it's the first time they've ever made the quarter-final of the competition.

Next up for them will be the winner of Thursday's tussle between New Zealand and the United States.

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