Mexico downs host
Argentina tops Costa Rica, advances at U-17 World CupPosted: Saturday August 16, 2003 4:12 PM
Updated: Saturday August 16, 2003 7:01 PM
HELSINKI, Finland (AP) -- Substitute Hernan Peirone scored twice in the closing minutes against Costa Rica Saturday, making Argentina the first team in the quarterfinals of the FIFA Under-17 World Championship.
Argentina won the Group B game 20 at Turku, in western Finland, gaining six points after two games. Peirone, a 17-year-old on the books of San Lorenzo, sidefooted the first from close in, taking a pass from Ariel Colzera, and hit the second on a freekick.
Nigeria, another favorite, took its first Group B win overcoming an early goal by Australia's Dez Giraldi after two minutes. John Mikel and Ezekiel Bala scored for the Africans at 73 and 84 minutes.
Costa Rica's scant hope is to beat Australia by two goals on Tuesday, while Argentina beats Nigeria.
In Helsinki, a sellout crowd of 10,200 saw Mexico beat host Finland in a Group A game behind goals by Julio Ceja, at 39 minutes, and Oscar Herrera, at 51 minutes.
Ceja showed superb ball skill in controlling a high pass from behind, and almost in the same momemt lifting the ball over the Finnish goalkeeper. Herrera was lucky with the second goal, his ball bouncing in from a defender.
Earlier, Colombia turned around the game against China with Fredy Guarin and Sebastian Hernandez scoring at 73 and 80 minutes after Youngpo Wang had given China the lead at 67.
At the top of Group A, Colombia and Mexico each have four points, with Finland trailing at three. Finland has to beat Colombia on Tuesday in order to make the quarterfinals.
In Sundayís games, the United States faces Sierra Leone (8 a.m. ET; Galavision) and South Korea plays Spain in Group D, while in Group C itís Portugal-Brazil and Yemen-Cameroon.
In the first round of Group D play, the U.S. defeated South Korea 6-1 with a hat trick by 14-year-old Freddy Adu, while Sierra Leone got two goals from Samuel Barlay to draw Spain 3-3.
Sierra Leone is competing in its first Under-17 World Championship after a run through to the final of the African Junior Championship held in Swaziland in May and June. The upstarts are looking to continue the success in past tournaments by their nearby neighbors -- Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana and Nigeria.
Sierra Leone upset Nigeria in the African Junior Championship semifinals before falling to Cameroon in the final.
The U.S. has had a hapless run of five losses against African teams without scoring a single goal in the U-17 World Championship.
China 1 (Yongpo Wang, 67 minutes), Colombia 2 (Fredy Guarin, 73, Sebastian Hernandez, 80). Halftime: 0-0. Attendance: 4,100.
Finland 0 Mexico 2 (Julio Ceja, 39, Oscar Herrera 51). Halftime 01. Attendance: 10,200.
Australia 1 (Dez Giraldi, 2), Nigeria 2 (John Mikel, 73, Ezekiel Bala, 84). Halftime: 1-0. Attendance: 5,200.
Argentina 2 (Hernan Peirone, 84, 90), Costa Rica 0. Halftime: 0-0. Attendance: 5,500.