Hosts Colombia secured their place in the knockout phase of the 2011 U-20 World Cup with a 2-0 win over Mali on Tuesday.
Goals from Jose Valencia and the highly impressive James Rodriguez led Eduardo Lara’s side to victory against a valiant effort from the Malians, who created some good chances despite seeing less of the ball. The victory, coming as it did after animpressive 4-1 demolition of France in their opening match, guaranteed Colombia’s passage to the last 16, making them the first side to qualify.
Goals from their two matches thus far can be found below:
Colombia 4 – 1 France
Colombia 2 – 0 Mali
Ecuador began their campaign by drawing 1-1 with Australia after conceding a spectacular 89th minute equaliser in a match they had hitherto controlled.
Sixto Vizuete’s men tonight face a Spanish side that dispatched of Costa Rica 4-1 in their opener and who are hoping to continue the nation’s incredible success in recent years. Spain are the reigning European and World Champions at senior level and reigning European Champions in the U-19 and U-21 age groups.
Depending on the result in the other match in the group tonight, a defeat for Ecuador could make it very hard for them to qualify and Vizuete is clearly aware of the threat posed by the Spanish. “The problem is finding a way to stop Spain’s potent offence without utilising a solely defensive formation,” he told reporters ahead of the match.
All matches from the U-20 World Cup are available to view via internet stream on FIFA.com in certain territories, including the UK. From the link, click on the ‘FIFA.com TV Live’ box on the right hand side of the screen, which looks like this:
Ecuador vs Spain kicks off at 17:00 Colombian time, which is 23:00 UK time, midnight CET, 15:00 US West Coast and 18:00 US East Coast.