The knockout rounds of the 2017 U-20 World Cup have begun.
There weren’t many goals in the early game between Venezuela and Japan, as the two sides needed extra time to sort out their differences after failing to find a goal in the opening 90 minutes.
The hosts, South Korea, took center stage in the second game of the day, but ran into a menacing Portugal side that carved them up twice within the first half hour.
Here’s the full recap of the first day of Round of 16 action.
Venezuela 1-0 Japan
It took an extra 30 minutes of action, but Venezuela triumphed over a strong Japanese team to head to the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup.
Both teams provided a lot of chances, but were rather wasteful. The teams took a combined total of 30 attempts at goal, but only put four on target between them. Japan’s lone on frame shot came from a free kick early in the second half in the form of a free kick by Akito Takagi. The Venezuelans managed three accurate shots out of 18 of their own, and one of them actually made it in.
That one came in the 108th minute with a header off a corner by Yangel Herrera. Japan would fail to truly threaten the goal afterwards and Venezuela were through.
La Vinotinto will take on the winner of Thursday morning’s USA-New Zealand match on June 4.
South Korea 1-3 Portugal
Portugal wasted no time getting the jump on the South Korean hosts. Bruno Xadas opened the scoring in the ninth minute after he received a low cross from Yuri Ribeiro that somehow found a way through a crowded Korean defense. Xadas’ first time shot screamed into the low corner of the net. The lead would double in the 27th minute when Bruno Costa hammered a deflected cross into the left corner of the net from the top of the penalty area.
South Korea would do their best to battle back into the match, but it was Portugal finding the better chances. They should have had their third goal in the 51st minute when Jorge Fernandes was gifted a golden opportunity from point blank range, but Korean keeper Song Bum-Keun managed to scramble and make the save. Costa would provide that third in the 67th minute, when he executed a brilliant run through several defenders before slotting home inside the far post.
That was more than enough for Portugal to advance, but Korea would have the last word. Their consolation goal came in the 81st minute with a well placed shot from substitute forward Sangheon Lee.
Next up for Portugal is a quarterfinal date with either Uruguay or Saudi Arabia on June 4.