Ghana and Iraq into FIFA U20 World Cup semis after dramatic quarter final wins
FIFA U20 World Cup 2013
Sunday 7 July 2013
The FIFA U20 World Cup has seen its most dramatic night so far after Iraq become the first Asian team to reach the semi-finals in 14 years as they beat South Korea in a penalty shoot-out - before Ghana stunned Chile 4-3 after extra time in an equally amazing match.
The Iraqis won 5-4 on penalties in their last-eight tie after an eventful game ended 3-3 in Kayseri, but they had to fight so hard for victory.
So many times in the tie it looked as though Iraq had done enough to win it, but every time South Korea fought back.
Goals from Ali Faez and Farhan Shakor put Iraq ahead twice in normal time but Kwon Changhoon's header and then another header from second-half substitute Lee Gwanghun equalised for the Koreans.
Then in extra time Shakor struck again in the 118th minute - only to see Korea, with only 15 seconds remaining on the clock, reply in dramatic fashion through Jung Hyuncheol, his 25-yard effort being deflected into the net.
After all that you would have thought Korea were favourites for the shoot-out, especially as they have already beaten Colombia on penalties this tournament. But in fact Iraq pulled through, with Shakor scoring the crucial kick that sent them into the last four. They will play Uruguay on Wednesday.
Ghana are also through to the semi-finals following another amazing tie, this time against Chile - and it featured yet another last-minute goal.
Once again the match went to extra time with Ghana edging it in the end to earn a last-four clash against one of the favourites, France.
Moses Odjer put Ghana ahead after only eleven minutes but Nicolas Castillo and Angeo Henriquez, with two goals inside four minutes, sent Chile into the half-time break 2-1 up.
Ebenezer Assifuah then struck for the Africans in the 72nd minute to force extra time and even when Henriquez, with a 98th-minute goal, restored Chile's advantage the Ghanaians responded again with a reply from Salifu after 113 minutes.
Then it was left to Assifuah to clinch victory with his second goal of the night - a last gasp one, too, in the 121st minute of an amazing game, as his tame header bounced over the line following a defensive mix-up in the Chile box.