FIFA Under-20 World Cup: US, Serbia lead way into quarter-finals

The two sides will clash in last-eight after defeating Colombia, Hungary respectively

Reuters June 10, 2015
Rubio Rubin of the US controls the ball against Colombia during their FIFA Under-20 World Cup round of 16 football match at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington on June 10. PHOTO: AFP

WELLINGTON: Rubio Rubin’s blistering strike and a penalty save by Zackary Steffen ensured the US advanced to the quarter-finals of the under-20 World Cup for the first time since 2007 with a 1-0 win over Colombia on Wednesday.

Rubin was at his predatory best when he fired a rocket into the roof of the net from 12 yards in the 58th minute to score the all-important goal.

Tab Ramos’s side were reduced to 10 men in the final 10 minutes when Kellyn Perry-Acosta conceded a penalty and received his second yellow, though Steffen saved the spot kick from Jarlan Barrera, who was inconsolable at the game’s end.

The US will next meet Serbia, who made the last-eight in their first appearance at the tournament as an independent nation, after an 118th-minute own goal by Hungary defender Attila Talaber handed the Serbs a 2-1 victory in Dunedin.

Diadie Samassekou, Dieudonne Gbakle and Aboubabacar Doumbia all scored to give Mali a surprise 3-0 victory over 2009 champions Ghana, who had been one of the more impressive sides in the tournament in New Zealand.

Senegal beat Ukraine 3-1 on penalties after goalkeeper Ibrahima Sy saved three shots in the shootout to advance to the last-eight after their match had ended 1-1 after extra time.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2015.

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