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Mexico out after Serbia defeat, Uruguay through after drawing of lots

Erick Gutierrez of Mexico looks dejected
Erick Gutierrez of Mexico walks off after the game.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Serbia beat Mexico 2-0 to claim a place in the knockout rounds of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Saturday.

After two rounds in Group D, all four teams -- Serbia, Mexico, Mali and Uruguay -- were tied on three points.

Nemanja Maksimovic gave Serbia the lead after only two minutes and Andrija Zivkovic doubled the lead just before half-time.

Serbia's win eliminated Mexico from contention, but Mali and Uruguay stayed in the race after playing out a 1-1 draw which left them with four points each and identical goal difference.

A drawing of lots was required to separate them in the standings, with Uruguay taking second place and Mali third.

Uruguay led Mali with a goal to Franco Acosta in the 17th minute but Mali showed the tenacity that has served them so well throughout the tournament, equalising through Adama Traore a minute before half-time, although it was not enough.

Meanwhile, Portugal strode confidently into the next round, beating Colombia 3-1 for their third-straight win in Group C.

Despite the loss, Colombia also progressed to the round of 16 with a win, a draw and a loss which was just good enough for second place in the group.

Nuno Santos scored the opening goal with a superb curling free kick after only three minutes and Andre Silva scored twice in the second half; the first from a penalty and the second with a header as Colombia's keeper came off his line but did not get to the cross.

Santos Borre's 74th minute goal for Colombia was the first that Portugal had conceded in the competition with the Iberian side now favourites to win the World Cup after Argentina were eliminated Friday

"We knew we were going to have problems because we were taking on a team with a lot of qualities, not just in technical terms but also in the way they set themselves out on the pitch," Portugal coach Helio Sousa said. "We were aware that we had to be strong all the time. Today we knew what to do when we had the ball and also when we didn't, which is also important."

Senegal came from a goal down after a lethargic first half to beat Qatar 2-1, and finished with four points in Group C; behind Colombia on goal difference but likely good enough to advance as one of the four best third-placed teams.

The result also ensured that hosts New Zealand will progress to the round of 16 as the third-placed team in Group A.

Qatar's Akram Afif converted a penalty in the 17th minute after Almoez Ali was brought down. Stand-in captain Alassane Sylla equalised in the 76th minute and Moussa Kone, after threatening on several occasions, scored the winner five minutes later.

Senegal needed another goal to have a chance of ousting Colombia from second place and almost scored but Mamadou Ndiaye's long-range shot went just wide of the post.

"It was a very difficult match," Senegal coach Joseph Koto said. "Both teams wanted to win and a draw was no good for either side.

"Before the game we knew that even by taking three points it'd very difficult to qualify, so we handled the situation we were in very well. The penalty gave us a big shock and we tried to level the game too quickly, which is not the way we should have gone about it."


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