Wednesday 22 May 2019, 07:39

Five unforgettable group stage matches

  • Stunning goals and upsets characterise U-20 World Cup group phase

  • We pick five top games in recent memory from the opening round

  • Rodriguez, Lozano, Bruma and Sargent feature

Korea Republic 2-1 Argentina

Korea Republic 2017

Off to a superb start after defeating Guinea 3-0 in their opener, Korea Republic next stared down Argentina, the most decorated team in FIFA U-20 World Cup history. The hosts didn't blink, firing two goals past the six-time champions then holding on just long enough to collect three points, buoyed by an electric home crowd in Jeonju.

Ecuador 3-3 USA

Korea Republic 2017

The Group F curtain-raiser set the tone for one of the most evenly-matched foursomes in the competition, comprising USA, Senegal, Saudi Arabia and Ecuador. La Mini-Tri motored ahead quickly, scoring twice in the first seven minutes. However, a Josh Sargent brace, coupled with a Luca de la Torre equaliser in second-half stoppage time, split the points in this breathless encounter.

Mexico 2-1 Uruguay

New Zealand 2015

Scoreless and tense deep into the second half, Mexico broke through courtesy of Hirving Lozano's spectacular, slicing solo run, only for Uruguay to draw level in the 83rd minute through Mathias Suaraz's stab off a set-piece. That set the scene for an inch-perfect free-kick from Kevin Gutierrez, who expertly chipped it home via the underside of the crossbar to give Mexico their first win of the competition.

Nigeria 2-3 Portugal

Turkey 2013

Two Group B heavyweights traded blows in their opening match at Kadir Has Stadium. Portugal picked apart the Nigeria defence for two well-worked goals in the first half, only to be artfully beaten twice by Flying Eagles captain Abdul Ajagun. The match contained a final twist, with Bruma completing his brace to grab three crucial points for Portugal.

Colombia 4-1 France

Colombia 2011

Like Korea Republic in 2017, Colombia's frenzied fans delighted in watching their side dazzle against formidable opposition. Though Gilles Sunu's thunderous effort from outside the box gave France a first-half lead, Colombia's answers were emphatic. James Rodriguez, Luis Muriel (two goals) and Santiago Arias made sure that most of the 36,000-plus crowd in Bogota went home happy.