Thu, Jun 27, 2013 - Page 20 News List

FIFA: Mexico on brink of U20 exit after Paraguay defeat


Mali’s Bakary Nimaga, left, vies with Greece’s Dimitrios Kourmpelis in their Group D match at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Gaziantep, Turkey, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

Mexico were on the brink of an early exit from the FIFA Under-20 World Cup after losing 1-0 to Paraguay on Tuesday, while newcomers El Salvador stunned Australia 2-1.

Colombia got their campaign on track with a 1-0 win over hosts Turkey, moving the South American champions to the top of Group C following a disappointing opening draw against Australia. The win also denied Turkey an early chance to advance.

Paraguay, who drew their opening match against Mali, made the breakthrough in the 52nd minute when substitute Arnaldo Sanabria fed Derlis Gonzalez, who scored with a superb side-footed volley.

As the CONCACAF champions, Mexico and their potent attack — featuring Jesus Corona and Marco Bueno — had been tipped as one of the tournament favorites, but they have struggled to perform in Turkey and Tuesday’s match was no different.

Mexico missed several good chances, hitting the post twice, including with a free-kick from Jorge Espericueta in the final minute.

Having lost 2-1 to Greece in their previous game, Mexico now sit at the bottom of Group D with a match against Mali remaining.

Paraguay and Greece lead the group with four points after Greece drew 0-0 with Mali to also miss out on an early chance to qualify for the next round.

In Group C, El Salvador improved their chances of advancing with a victory that put their first points on the board.

Australia, who had earned a deserved 1-1 draw against fancied Colombia, started well, with Joshua Brillante putting the young Socceroos ahead in the ninth minute.

However, El Salvador, who lost 3-0 to Turkey in their opener, drew level just eight minutes later when Jairo Henriquez delivered a deep cross which Kevin Barahona headed back across goal and into the path of Diego Coca, who scored.

Jose Pena provided the winner in the 40th, steering home a low cross from Miguel Ochoa.

After an uneventful first half, Turkey went on the attack and nearly scored courtesy of a dipping, swerving free-kick from about 30m by Hakan Calhanoglu.

However, Colombia responded in style, with Juan Quintero twisting and turning just inside the area and then firing a blazing shot into the roof of the net in the 52nd.

Quintero nearly scored again a few minutes later when the midfielder beat ’keeper Aykut Ozer with another left-foot shot, only to see it cleared off the line by Ilkay Durmus.

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