Japan, Italy, Portugal advance in U-20 World Cup

Italy, Japan and Portugal advanced to the knockout stage of the Under-20 World Cup on Saturday.

By: AP | Seoul | Updated: May 27, 2017 10:22 pm
Two goals from Ritsu Doan gave Japan a 2-2 draw with Italy in their Group D clash. (Source: AFC Cup)

Italy, Japan and Portugal advanced to the knockout stage of the Under-20 World Cup on Saturday. Two goals from Ritsu Doan gave Japan a 2-2 draw with Italy in their Group D clash in Cheonan after Italy went 2-0 ahead within the first seven minutes.

Andrea Favilli crossed from the left for Riccardo Orsolini to volley home from close range, and shortly after Giuseppe Panico got on the end of Francesco Cassata’s hurried free kick to add a second.

Japan spent much of the rest of the half pushing forward and was rewarded after 22 minutes when Doan scored after a perfectly flighted free kick from Keita Endo.

The impressive Doan was on target again early in the second half, dribbling past three defenders to score his fourth goal of the tournament from close range.

Japan finished third in Group D, behind Italy on goal difference but enough to progress to the knockout stage.

Sixteen of the 24 teams go through _ the top two teams from each of the six groups and the four best third-placed finishers.

Group D winner Uruguay had already secured a place in the knockout stage with two wins from its first two games and the South American champion maintained its unbeaten record with a 0-0 draw against South Africa in Incheon.

In Group C, Portugal beat Iran 2-1 in Incheon to move into the second round in second place.

Reza Shekari put Iran ahead in the fourth minute but Diogo Goncalves equalized 10 minutes into the second half. With four minutes remaining, a cross from substitute Xande Silva went in after a deflection from Nima Taheri to give Portugal the victory.

Zambia kept hold of top spot in the group despite losing 1-0 to Costa Rica in Cheonan. Jostin Daly scored the only goal of the game after 15 minutes. The win put the Central Americans into third but their four points are enough to advance.

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