England advances, France loses to Gambia at Under-20 World Cup
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — England reached the knockout stage of the Under-20 World Cup with a 3-2 win over Uruguay on Thursday, living up to expectations as one of the title favorites at the tournament.
France's chances are in dire trouble, though, after its 2-1 loss to Gambia and the 2-2 draw between South Africa and Honduras, a result that made it impossible for the French squad to finish in one of the top two spots in Group F.
Unbeaten Gambia has six points and will progress to the Round of 16. France, after back-to-back defeats, needs to win its last group game against Honduras to have any chance of advancing as one of the four best third-place teams.
England opened the scoring in rainy La Plata in the 22nd minute with a header by Bashir Humphreys. Alfie Devine added a second in first-half stoppage time.
Uruguay netted in the 49th through Franco González but England regained a two-goal cushion when Darko Gyabi scored in stoppage time to keep England atop Group E. The Uruguayans scored their second via Matias Abaldo just before the final whistle.
Tunisia beat Iraq 3-0 in the later Group E game and remained in contention for a place in the knockout stages.
Yousseff Snana scored in the 55th and Chaim el Djebali doubled Tunisia's lead two minutes later. Rayan Nasraoui was sent off in the 75th, but the numerical disadvantage didn't stop Tunisia from getting a penalty that Mahmoud Ghorlbel converted in the 86th.
England plays Iraq on Sunday, when Uruguay and Tunisia go head-to-head with a spot in the top two of the group at stake. Both teams have three competition points but Uruguay is ahead of Tunisia on goal difference.
France struggled against Gambia from the start in Mendoza. After a mistake by goalkeeper Yann Lienard, Tanguy Zoukrou scored an own-goal in the 13th.
In the second half, Lienard saved a penalty to keep the French in the contest, and Wilson Odobert equalized with a header in the 61st.
Substitute Mamin Sanyang then dribbled through the French defense in the 68th and scored the winner from close range.
South Korea moved into the second place in the group with the draw against Honduras, and faces Gambia on Sunday.
David Ruiz opened the scoring for Honduras from the spot in the 22nd, only five minutes before he was sent off. Despite the one-man deficit, Hondurans took a 2-0 lead when Isaac Castillo scored in the 51st.
South Korea took advantage of the extra space later in the second half and equalized with goals by Kim Yong-hak in the 58th and Seung-Ho Park in the 62nd. The result in Mendoza has also kept Honduras chances of advancing in the tournament.
Seok-Hyun Choi got a second yellow and was sent off in injury time.
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The Associated Press