U-20 Football WC: Colombia battle back to beat Japan 2-1, seal last-16 spot
La Plata (Argentina), May 25 (IANS) Colombia came from a goal down and weathered an avalanche of Japanese chances late on at La Plata Stadium to win 2-1 in the Group C match and sealed their spot in the round of 16 of the FIFA U20 World Cup.
Japan broke the deadlock in the 30th minute from a corner-kick routine straight off the training ground. After a neat exchange of passes with Sota Kitano, Taichi Fukui cut back a pass for Riku Yamane, who found the bottom corner.
The second half, however, was all about Colombia. Yaser Asprilla and substitute Tomas Angel had Colombia in front within the first 15 minutes of the restart with two close-range finishes at the end of patient build-up play.
The match ended dramatically with Japan captain Kuryu Matsuki hitting the crossbar on two occasions. The first was from the penalty spot after the Samurai Blue were awarded a spot-kick following an on-pitch VAR review by referee Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez, and the second was from a glancing header.
Japan was left ruing their missed chances as they now face a crucial Group C decider against Israel on May 27, while Colombia celebrated their progression to a second straight knockout stage at the U-20 World Cup.