Colombia beats South Korea 1-0; tops group

Host team Colombia defeated South Korea 1-0 on Friday to finish

group play with a perfect record in the Under-20 World Cup.

Luis Muriel scored in the 37th minute for Colombia, which

finished in first place in Group A with nine points. France

finished second in the group with six points following a 2-0

victory over Mali on Friday.

South Korea finished with three points and advanced to the

knock-out stage as one of the best third-placed teams.

Colombia, which will play a yet-to-be-determined third-placed

team in the round-of-16, will be among the favorites with Spain,

Brazil, Nigeria and Argentina when the second round opens on


Muriel’s goal came after a mistake by South Korea keeper No

Dong-geon, who raced off his line for a loose ball in the area, but

was beaten to it by Muriel who recovered and scored into the empty

net with No stranded.

Colombia attacked throughout the first half with South Korea

trying to defend and counterattack. Muriel also hit the crossbar

with a rising shot from 20 meters (yards), which came just minutes

before he finally broke through.

There were fewer shots in the second half with South Korea

perhaps worn down by the altitude in Bogota of 2,600 meters (8,600

feet). Even the home fans, who have deafening every match with

their vuvuzelas and non-stop cheering, were relatively quiet in the

second half with both teams seeming to settle for the result.

South Korea’s Lee Ki-je had a good chance with a 20-meter (yard)

free kick in the 80th, but drove it right into the hands of

Colombia keeper Cristian Bonilla.

South Korea threatened again in the 90th when Lee Yong-jae just

missed an attempted tip-in from a Moon Sang-yun corner.