Uruguay eliminates U.S. at U20 World Cup, South Korea advances

Uruguay players celebrate after scoring a goal against the United States at the U20 World Cup. Getty Images

Uruguay and South Korea advanced to the semifinals of the Under-20 World Cup on Sunday.

The South Americans beat the United States 2-0 in Santiago del Estero, dominating the match from start to finish. The Asian team, runner-up in the last U20 World Cup in 2019 to Ukraine, secured its spot with a 1-0 victory against Nigeria thanks to a goal in extra time.

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Uruguay will take on Israel on Thursday, the same day South Korea will face Italy for a place in the final.

South Korea scored the only goal of their match in the fifth minute of extra time. The header by Seok-Hyun Choi was one of the few chances either team had during the encounter.

Uruguay opened the scoring in the 21st minute after a counter-attack put Anderson Duarte in front of an empty goal. The Uruguayans doubled their lead in the 56th minute through an own goal by Joshua Wynder.

The United States did not concede any goals in their first four matches in the tournament.

"That's life. If you don't have enough, you don't win," U.S. coach Mikey Varas told the official broadcaster after the match. "They fought, they have what they had and they had a great tournament here."

Uruguay coach Marcelo Brioli agreed that the first goal of the match came when the U.S. team was dominating.

"The first minutes of the match were hard, but our team's maturity made the difference," Brioli said.

None of the four teams left in the tournament has ever won it. Uruguay was runner up in 1997 and 2013. Israel is playing in the U20 World Cup for the first time.