France reaches knockout stage at U20 World Cup
Cedric Bakambu and Alexandre Lacazette scored second-half goals
as France defeated ten-man Mali 2-0 to advance to the second round
of the Under-20 World Cup on Friday.
Bakambu found the net with a right-footed shot into the far
corner in the 70th minute – a minute after Mali had a man sent off
– and Lacazette sealed the victory with a hard angled shot from the
right in the 77th.
The win gave France six points from three matches, taking second
place in Group A. Host Colombia defeated South Korea 1-0 to win the
group with nine points. South Korea reached the next round as one
of the four best third-place teams in the six groups. Mali was
eliminated with three losses and no goals scored.
France’s opponent in the round-of-16 will be any of Spain, Costa
Rica, Australia or Ecuador depending on the outcome of Group C
games on Saturday.
Mali played a man down from the 69th, after defender Mohamed
Konate received a second yellow card.
France had been dominating even before the ejection and had most
of the dangerous scoring opportunities throughout the match at the
Pascual Guerrero stadium in Cali.
The French had two great chances with Bakambu in the first half.
He had an open shot from near the penalty spot in the 38th but was
denied by Mali goalkeeper Cheick Abdul Sy, then missed again from
close range in the 44th.
Sy denied France again in the 49th, charging out of his goal to
stop Gilles Sunu’s shot from just inside the area.