||World Youth Championship semi-finals,
July 4 1700 GMT/1945 GMT
> schedule and results see below
> knock-out scheme
Egypt - Ghana 0:2
Argentina - Paraguay 5:0
Ghana reached the final by two late goals in the all African
first semi-final. Egypt is reported to have had the better first half but
failed to score and after the intermission Ghana gained more momentum.
It took until the 83rd minute before Insuah scored by a header. In the
87th minute an own goal sealed the match.
Argentina in the second match displayed some spectacular
football, most conspicious the stars Saviola and Romagnoli. Paraguay were
without chance. And 3:0 behind, they lost a man due to a suspension short
before halftime, so that the hosts were enabled to play some show football
in the second period.
because of financial problems, I have decided to minimize
the coverage and will offer only short summaries.
Please use the links below
> the official
World Cup live ticker (opens in a new window)
> the spanish
version is a few minutes ahead (opens in a new window)
has results updates (opens in a new window)
World Youth Championship round of last 8, July 1
1700 GMT/1945 GMT
Argentina - France 3:1
Czech Rep - Paraguay 0:1
Brazil - Ghana 1:2 a.e.t.
Egypt - Netherlands 2:1
Ghana confirmed a long time the klischee of a team lacking
impact when it comes down to goalscoring against a Brazilian squad who
proved to be just poison for this: unlike former Brazilian youth teams
this one convinces by physical presence and compactness (one meaningless
goal conceded so far) rather than technical brilliance. There was hardly
a shot on the Brazilian goal. Even the players who had been conspicious
so far for Ghana, Boateng and Essien did not get past the strong Brazilian
In the first half the Brazilians had been dangerous at
set plays and at two other occasions, one let to the goal by goalgetter
Adriano. In the second half the Brazilians hardly attacked themselves,
did play more and more casually and one of those seemingly chanceless soloruns
by the Ghanaians suddenly broke through and set up Abdul Razak to score
the equaliser ('80).
The goal brought some momentum for the Africans and the
crowd to their side. Suddenly the dull match turned exciting. In the following
minutes promising situations for Ghana but again little impact in seizing
In the golden goal extra time Joe Mensah scored the stunning
winner after only 3 minutes, a header after a corner against a now unconcentrated
Egypt turned around the match against the Netherlands
after the Dutch had taken a 1:0 halftime lead. 2 minutes after the
intermission Egypt scored the equaliser and 10 minutes after the Europeans
had been reduced to 10 in the 55th, the North Africans took the lead. Despite
a disappointing atart into the tournament the Egyptians are now among the
final four in the cup.
The Argentinian star of the tournament Saviola and France's
brightest talent, defender Mexes, provided the four goals of the match
Argentina - France. Argentina took the lead after 5 minutes and short before
the half France equalised. A doubtful penalty made it 2:1 in injury time
of the first period before Saviola through on a counter attack secured
the semi-finals for the superior hosts.
In the fourth match Paraguay down to 10 men for most of
the match after a 26th minute expulsion, defeated the Czech Republic anyway
by a 31 minute goal by Salcedo.
World Youth Championship round of last 16, June 27/28
1700 GMT/1945 GMT
Egypt - USA 2:0
Germany - France 2:3
Argentina - China 2:1
Brazil - Australia 4:0
Ukraine - Paraguay 1:2
Costa Rica - Czech Rep 1:2.
Angola - Netherlands 0:2
Ghana - Ecuador 1:0
World Youth Championship round of last 16, June 27/28
A 13th minute goal by John Mensah secured Ghana's place
in the quarterfinals and a revive of the youth classic against Brazil on
At the same time Angola stormed furiously to equalize
the Dutch lead after 50 minutes. But the Africans wasted a handful of chances.
Conspicious was attacking defender Kikas. Netherlands sealed the match
5 minutes before the end by their second goal.
Paraguay compensated the absence of injured #10 Tomas
Guzman well (see France match) well and led by 2 goals before European
vice champions Ukraine scored in the last minute of the match.
Costa Rica could not continue their surprise run. The
Czech Republic scored the winner after 70 minutes and now face Paraguay
for a place in the semi-finals.
Egypt have had the luck of a seemingly much easier path
to the semi-finals than some other group runners-up and have seized their
chance: with an as dominant reported performance they defeated the USA
by two second half goals though failing to convert a first half penalty.
In the parallel match France and Germany fought a tight
match which was only decided by an injury time goal of tournament star
striker Djibril Cissé (Auxerre). He had already converted a penalty
to equalise the German lead by their conspicious #9 Benjamin Auer. France
took the lead before halftime and Germany scored their second after 77
Brazil confirmed their impression of being a very solid
team by beating Australia clearly 4:0. The South American champions have
only conceded one goal yet in a meaningless second half against Iraq.
But China, who only had conceded one goal themselves
yet, put up a big fight against hosts and tournament (co-)favorites
Argentina and only lost 1:2 by a late goal.
World Youth Championship day 3, June 21/22:
Australia qualified by an 82nd minute goal for the knock-out
stages of the FIFA World Youth Cup equalising the 12th minute lead by Angola's
Mantorras. The Africans are the third team of their continent in the round
of last 16 but will have to wait for the result of the other match to know
whether to advance as group heads or runners-up. The result also means
that the remote theoretical chance for Japan has faded.
Ghana and France, both already qualified, played for
winning the group and the possibly slightly easier slot in the knock-out
stages. The match began entertaining with Ghana more dangerous but became
more fragmented. France again was lacking a creative midfield and the talented
Ghana players failed to establish successful longer passing sequences so
that chances became rare in the second half. A 0:0 saw Ghana win the group
and France finish second.
Costa Rica continued their run, beating Ecuador and finishing
head of their group with a perfect record. The goal was provided by Carlos
Hernandez after 85 minutes.
Ethiopia finished as one of the three worst teams of
the tournament while the netherlands qualified as one of the best group
thirds after beating the East Africans 3:2. The second Ethipoian goal came
in injury time.
Japan, already knowing they were without chance after
Australia managed to bag in the necessary point, at least went home with
a positive memory after beating the Czech Republic (already through to
the second round) surprisingly 3:0.
Paraguay secured the last place in the round of last
16 by beating Iran 2:0. Iran had begun the tournament with an impressive
1st half against France but have to go home unlucky and without having
scored a single goal. Paraguay, without Tomas Guzman (probably injured),
needed until the 72nd minute before they were able to break the deadlock.
Egypt are the second African team to have qualified for
the knock out stages of the FIFA World Youth Cup in Argentina. After a
10th minute lead the tournament began to look much more positive for the
Egypptians t were
Brazil and Argentina remained perfect in their third
matches and sent home two North/Central American teams, Jamaica and Canada.
Especially the hosts have impressed and the two remain tournament favorites.
For Brazil the crunch question often comes when they face old rival South
In a match to decide on the second place behind Brazil,
Iraq played an unlucky match against Germany. For 60 minutes the outsiders
cancelled out the Europeans before an own goal finsished off their confidence.
Other key scenes had been the immediate German equaliser after Iraq had
taken the lead by an own goal, too, and right in succession a red card
for an Iraqi player who had retaliated for a hidden foul by a German attacker.
For 15 minutes into the second half Iraq played a compact match, even with
a few better opportunities to score. But the own goal, which came after
a free kick had been stopped by the wall and the ball had been rolling
dangerously into the penalty area with a group of players chasing it, sealed
the match psycologically.
By a goal in the 89th minute Ukraine secured qualification
for the second round against the USA who had led the match by a first half
goal in a match which saw 6 yellow cards.
But the USA qualification was saved by a late goal for
Chile against China. The Asians had been playing for a 0:0 draw to finish
ahead of the Americans but were punished ... Nevertheless the Chinese themselves
can be relieved because they have already qualified as one of the best
four group thirds, as Iraq and Finland both have finished with less good
records in the other groups.
day 2, June 20/21:
In a match marred by some hidden and open brutalities
and a possibly too lenient refereeing Paraguay rescued their chances against
France by coming back from a 2 goal deficit to draw 2:2 with the European
flagship. But they most likely will have to replace playmaker Tomas Guzman
who was carried off the field with an injury for their next match against
Iran in which they hope to extend their exploits to 4 points, which more
likely should see them through to the next round.
Already arrived there is Costa Rica after beating Ethiopia
3:1 and in a good position now the Czech Republic after beating Australia
Another team who have qualified are Ghana after beating
Iran 1:0 through an early goal by Derek Boateng. Iran, who are reported
to have played a good match anyway and chances for an equaliser, now are
left with a very remorte chance of qualifying only.
The Netherlands failed to score more than 1 goal once
more and so were left with a point only against Ecuador. They still can
qualify in their reimaining match against outsioders Ethiopia. The African
team lost their second match and are nearly as far away from the second
round as Iran. At least they have a chance to reach the third group
place directly by beating Netherlands.
Angola on the other hand are a surprise as they seem
to be able to confirm their good presentation from the African championships.
Beating Japan by 2:1 has put them into a good position for qualifying while
Japan are as good as out. Substitute Rascas scored the winner ten
minutes from time. Japan had equalised the early Mendonca lead after 60
minutes by Yamase.
Japan now need to beat the possibly strongest team, the
Czech Rep., and in the same time need help by Angola to beat Australia,
only to reach the third place. Then they neeed to hope that other group
thirds will have only 3 points or less. It sounds too much to hope for
and so it will be likely that after Spain, Mali, and Uruguay could not
qualify, all four semi-finalists of the last edition at Nigeria 99 will
be out of the competition.
The two tournament favorites Brazil and Argentina impressed
with clear vioctories against Egypt and Iraq. Especially the margins were
remarkable after Egypt had been considered as a rather strong squad only
with scoring problems and Iraq had imprssed in their first match against
After Finland beat Jamaica it will most likely be between
Egypt and Finland about who will advance to the second round. No good news
for Egypt because they will have to beat the compactness of the Europeans
and score goals.
In other matches Germany were showing they can reach
at least the knock-out stages against a Canada for who this tournament
might be too difficult. The upcoming Iraq-Germany match will be interesting,
but might as well two winners as 4 points could be enough to qualify as
group third as well.
Ukraine, USA, and China kept their dark horse chances
while Chile will need some kind of miracle and are 98% out.
Iran - France 0:5
-France has lined up some first division players and
possible future A-teamers like forward Djibril Cissé (Auxerre),
Mendy (PSG), and Mexes (Auxerre) who could be a later successor for Laurent
-but it is Iran who put on a stunning display in the
first 15 minutes, strong in one against one and even able to create goal
-but unlike the first match in this group this match
has only few goal situations. This is the consequence of two very compact
defending squads which look difficult to break apart
-('24) the French are a bit more dangerous, because they
have very fast forwards who threaten to exploit all errors
-there seem to be connection and server problems
The crowd whistles, they are not satisfied by the defensive
approach. Both teams olok strong, Iran a very well balanced squad, France
with strong defenders and fast counter attackers, maybe lacking an inspirational
midfield at this point. It looks like this will be a very tough group.
-('50) France: Vignal with a dangerous freekick, wide
-('55) France: Mendy with a great run through several
defenders and a sharp low shot which the keeper saves with his right foot
-France have more possessions and imply a lot more
-('58) France: #17 Bugnet scores by head after a (free
kick) cross from the left - 0:1
-('61) France: Mexes almost scores after a corner, the
ball is deflected for another
-('61) France: this times Mexes by his head, he scores
-Iran, who looked so compact have broken apart under
the pressure and have lost order after the first French goal
-('65) France: long ball by Mexes on Cissé,
missunderstanding between the keeper and a defender who had the ball before
Cissé but now plays it past the storming out keeper and Cissé
gives it the necessary touch to just roll into the goal - 0:3
-after the first half it was hard to imagine either
team could lose by such a scoreline, now it could even become more
-('70) Iran bring on the 15 year old Ostovari
-('87) Cissé, sent by Mexes, has to break little
resistance to score - 0:4
-('89) Cissé scores another as Iran have given
up completely - 0:5
final score 0:5
Iran have shown two faces, losing all first half qualities
during the second term, starting to lose balls early, so running into fast
attacks which more and more disorganised defending.
Ghana - Paraguay 2:1 (final)
-Ghana after the poor finsihing of the Egyptians yesterday
is now the biggest hope for Africa on an afternoon when three of the four
African teams have their premiere in parallel matches
-Paraguay with the clearly better beginning and a handful
of chances right away
-('10) a first remarkable shot by Ghana, across the bar
-('11) Ghana: dangerous header after corner, wide
-a match with tides: some minutes Paraguay, some minutes
Ghana, some minutes Paraguay
-the official website ticker (see link above) is now
working, so I will rather give some impressions instead of scene by scene
-the young looking Ghanaians have improved their game
continously but it is Paraguays #11 who hits the crossbar after 36 minutes
in the most spectacular scene so far
Both teams look very talented from different aspects.
Paraguay is a dangerous team and Ghanas players make the impression as
if a number of them will be seen in the national team once in the future.
Anyway they do not seem strong (and maybe old) enough as a team to be among
the tournament favorites.
But it is a bit early for a judgement, isn't it?
-an outstanding #10 Tomas Guzman (Juventus) architects
the Paraguayan attacks which are prerdominating the beginning of the 2nd
-but it is a beatiful Ghana counter attack which provides
the first goal: #4 Michael essien scores after the ball is centered by
#9 Razak Pimpong - 1:0
-Ghana fired up by the goal, Paraguay in panic
-a common effort by Essien (Bastia) and Pimponk (a
Danish club) finally leaves Derek Boateng (Panatheneikos) with an easy
score - 2:0
-only a minute later the keeper has to save a dangerous
Ghanaian free kick
-it is no accident that it is Guzman who scores after
a header has been bouncing back from the crossbar (a free kick cross) -
-only a short time later the Ghanaian keeper Bananhene
saves against a Guzman low shot
-('78) Ghana has come under intense pressure and the
keeper has to rescue again.
-The match is now completely breaking up with both
teams attacking with a lot of players, Paraguay seeking the equalizer,
Ghana trying to decide the match on counter attacks
-('89) the Ghanaian keeper is lucky that his mistake
(conceding the ball to the opponents under pressure) which has led to a
goal is nullyfied by a clear and right offside call
-('injury time) two more goal scenes for Paraguay, one
in which a defender has to rescue for the already beaten keeper and a header
across the bar
final score 2:1
Standing ovations for an attacking firework in which
Ghana with a number of conspicious players overcame (temporarily?) the
almost traditional Ghanaian ineffectiveness (low gioal scoring averages,
too much running with the ball). The result is a bit harsh to Paraguay
who produced a first tournament revelation anyway in 19 year old Tomas
Guzman. Reminder: This is a very tough group with France and Iran playing
World Youth Championship kicks
off > schedule
1700 GMT matches: Argentina - Finland 2:0 (final),
Brazil - Germany 2:0 (final), USA -China 0:1 (final)
1945 GMT matches: Egypt - Jamaica 0:0, Ukraine - Chile
4:2, Canada - Iraq 0:3
Egypt - Jamaica 0:0 (final)
(allocation of names to numbers due to FIFA list)
-Egypt in white, Jamaica: yellow-black-green(shirts)
-Egypt have Jamaica pinned back into their half but only
one big opportunity yet: a low sharp cross from the left which is missed
by the striker in the middle
-('20) Egypt pressure more and have a couple of good
scenes in front of the goal
-('23) a dive by Egyptian #16 Hamza is awarded with a
yellow card - one of two scenes where Egypt have wasted good position after
-('25) great opportunity for Egypt, again after a cross
from the left flank, a player comes a little too late to hit the ball properly
-('25) and another after a cross from the right, this
time it is the keeper who saves brilliantly against #10 Gerisha
-('30) Egypt free kick hits the outside of the net
-('37) Egypt combinate through but with the keeper already
out of play a defender can clear for a corner
-('39) Egypt #9 Shehata with a dangerous shot from 18
meters but wide
-('51) Jamaica keeper rescues against #16
-('53) indirect free kick for Egypt from 6 meter, #14
fires but the ball stucks between the players in the wall, drops on the
line and is cleared
-('57) #11 of Egypt is gifted with the ball by an error
in build up and runs towards the goal but a defender can irritate him enough,
a play in the grey area between foul and physical presence
-('60) a Jamaican defender comes late against Egypt #15
- the clearest penalty for ages
-('61) the penalty: Egypt #16 shoots low sharp
but wide left by some centimeters
-('65) free kick Jamaica, 22 meters, #15 across the bar
-('66) giant opportunity for Kamaica: a sharp low cross
and #11 El Yamany in prominent goal scoring position, but he cannot meet
it in time and so it slips too fast through his legs - Egypt escaped the
punishment for missing too many chances this time
-Jamaica with huge grown players who know how to handle
the ball, but up to this point harmless anyway, suddenly start attacking
-('70) Jamaica: another opportunity when a free kick
cross flies into the Egyptian penalty area and a tall Jamaican wins the
header, he sets up an opportunity for #15 but he slips in excitement, hitting
the ball wrong. Behind him another player had lured in even better position.
It is not the first slip seen from the Americans.
-('75) Egypt have found back into the match
-('76) the Jamaican keeper makes a graet grab for a deflected
ball which had gone in the corner otherwise
-('87) Egypt: a long range shot, the keeper lets the
ball bounce back in front of the feet of of two strikers, a second attempt
is saved and the third by #10 is in the goal. But the assistant ref says
offside. To my ponit of view very doubtful decision.
-('89) Jamaica are two against one on the counter attack.
But the eventual shot only hits the outside of the net
-('injury time) the Jamaican keeper saves a last attempt
final score 0:0