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.