Argentina reaches knockout stage at U20 World Cup

Six-time champion Argentina defeated North Korea 3-0 on Thursday

in its final group match in the Under-20 World Cup, advancing to

the second round and sending the Asian team home.

Facundo Ferreyra opened the scoring in the 36th minute, with

second-half goals coming from Lucas Villafanez in the 84th and

Adrian Cirigliano in stoppage time.

Coach Walter Perazzo played the match without star Erik Lamela,

who has an ankle injury.

”We had to win a spot in the next round, and Argentina went

after the match – but patiently,” Perazzo said. ”It was a strange

match. We created a lot of chances but it took us time to break

through.”

The victory gave Argentina seven points from three matches and

top spot in Group F. North Korea finished last in the group with

one point. Mexico advanced with four points following a 0-0 draw

with England. The English have three points and are relying on

other results to advance.

Despite needing a victory, North Korea played a defensive game,

with Argentina having 60 percent of possession.

”Argentina is a very strong team and attacking would not have

been prudent,” North Korea coach Jo Tong Sop said.

Argentina has won this event six times, including five of the

last eight.