Guatemala Defeats Croatia 1-0 To Advance
Armenia, Colombia, Aug 7 : Marvin Ceballos scored in the 81st minute to give Guatemala a 1-0 victory over Croatia on Saturday and the last berth in the 16-team knockout stage of the Under 20-World Cup.
Ceballos scored when he chipped the ball past keeper Matej Delac.
Guatemala finished third in Group D with three points. Croatia lost all three matches and was eliminated. The Central Americans, who had a goal-difference of minus-10, advanced as one of the best four third-place teams. Nigeria and Saudi Arabia also advanced automatically as the top two teams in Group D.
Guatemala had the edge throughout the match and deserved the victory.
Both teams played cautiously in the first half. A draw would have eliminated both and allowed New Zealand—which played in Group B—to reach the round-of-16.
The best early chance for either team came in the 47th minute when Guatemala's Abner Bonilla, a second-half substitute, hit the post with a close-range header.
Croatia had its first threatening shot in the 53rd when Roberto Puncec headed the ball over the crossbar.
Ceballos also came close in the 65th, and a minute later he delivered a cross to Manuel Moreno who was stopped by Croatian keeper Delac.
Croatia's Ivan Lendric also came close in the 70th, lobbing a ball that just missed finding the far corner.
Guatemala keeper Roberto Padilla came up with a big save in the 88th to preserve the victory. AP