Soccer

Spain tops Mexico at U20; Uzbekistan, France, Uruguay advance

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The Canadian Press
7/2/2013 2:49:37 PM
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ISTANBUL - Spain striker Jese scored in injury time as his team came from behind to beat Mexico 2-1 and set up a quarterfinal against Uruguay at the Under-20 World Cup on Tuesday.

The European Under-19 champions will be joined by France, which defeated host Turkey 4-1 to line up a last-eight meeting with Uzbekistan, a 3-1 winner over Greece.

Jese's strike from outside the area was deflected by Mexico defender Abel Fuentes and goalkeeper Richard Sanchez could only dive over the ball. It was Jese's fifth goal of the tournament.

Mexico stunned tournament favourite Spain in the second minute when Arturo Gonzalez came in from the left and sent a diagonal shot past goalkeeper Daniel Sotres.

Spain recovered quickly and found its usual rhythm of short passes and moves in midfield. However, it struggled to reach its forwards against Mexico's well-placed defence.

The South Americans, who missed suspended midfielder Jesus Escoboza, created danger through quick counterattacks, though Raul Lopez's header in the 19th went just over and a thundering 20-meter (yard) shot by Jorge Espericueta hit the crossbar in the 31st.

Spain continued to dominate possession in the second half as it gained control of the match. The Mexican defence started to falter and Spain finally got the chances it had been looking for.

Captain Paco Alacacer was set up by Jese in the 51st but keeper Sanchez saved his low shot with his left foot.

The game turned around when Mexico left Derik unmarked in the 74th when he received a corner kick at the far post, leaving the defender an easy chance to level .

Nicolas Lopez scored twice in the second half to give Uruguay a 2-1 win over Nigeria, which was reduced to 10 players just before halftime.

Defender Abdullahi Shehu committed two fouls within two minutes, receiving a straight red card for the second in the 41st minute.

Lopez scored from close range in the 65th minute after the Nigeria defence failed to clear the ball from the area, only for a 20-meter strike from Olarenwaju Kayode to make it 1-1 four minutes later.

Lopez converted a penalty in the 84th after substitute Diego Rolan dribbled past goalkeeper Chukwunenye Okani and was fouled.

Meanwhile, France dominated the first half of its match in the last 16 against Turkey. Captain Paul Pogba returned from suspension to lead the midfield, while strikers Jean-Christophe Bahebeck and Yaya Sanogo were a constant threat to the Turkey defence.

France took the lead after a mistake by Aykut Ozer in the 18th. The Turkey goalkeeper dropped the ball after a Bahebeck corner and Geoffrey Kondogbia was on hand to tuck it into the net.

France doubled the score 13 minutes later when Bahebeck's header at the near post wrongfooted Ozer.

Turkey battled its way back into the match in the second half but lacked a finisher, and left plenty of space while pressing forward in search of a goal.

France striker Florian Thauvin sent a penalty kick well over the crossbar after Baheback was brought down by Fatih Turan in the 64th, but Sanogo and Jordan Veretout added two goals within 10 minutes as they rounded off counterattacks.

Sinan Bakis scored for a consolation goal for Turkey in the 79th minute.

France now faces Uzbekistan, which had never before gone beyond the group stage but defeated Greece in a match that included three penalties and two red cards.

Uzbekistan took the lead in the 26th minute when Abbosbek Makhstaliev beat Greece goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino at the near post.

Greece captain Konstantinos Stafylidis equalized from a penalty seven minutes later, but his team lost control of the game when defender Dimitrios Kourpelis picked up his second booking for a foul in the area after an hour. Igor Sergeev converted the penalty, and Sardor Rakhmanov added another goal from the spot in the 83rd..

Uzbekistan's Boburbek Yuldashov was also sent off in the closing minutes after receiving a second yellow card.

Jese (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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