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Canada bombs at the Under-20 World Cup
by Paul Kennedy, July 9th, 2007 7AM
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TAGS:  argentina, brazil, mexico, spain, under-20 world cup


Host Canada was ignominiously dumped from the Under-20 World Cup when it lost to Congo, 2-0, for its third straight shutout loss of the competition.

Canada is the first host team in the 30-year history of the U-20 competition not to score a goal.

Its final game in the pouring rain in Edmonton was marred by the ejection of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who was sent off in the 73rd minute for handling the ball outside the area.

Congo was one of four African teams to reach the final 16. Nigeria had already wrapped up a spot, and Zambia and Gambia advanced with upset victories -- Gambia downed Portugal, 2-1, and Zambia beat Uruguay, 2-0, to drop the Celeste to third place in its group and set up a date with the USA on Wednesday in Toronto.

Like Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil (barely) advanced to make it a clean sweep for the four South American entrants.

Brazil, which lost to USA, 2-1, in Montreal on Friday night, would have fallen to last place in Group D if South Korea had beaten Poland -- they tied, 1-1. As it was, Brazil only squeaked through when Costa Rica could only beat Scotland, 2-1. The Ticos to win by two goals to claim the fourth and final berth for the third-place teams.

Mexico, the 2005 U-17 World Cup champion, was the only team to go 3-0 in group play. The Tri beat New Zealand, 2-1, even though it rested star Giovanni Dos Santos and other first-team players.

Scotland -- winless in all three games -- was the only European team not to advance. Spain, Portugal, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic all advanced.

The weak link was Asia. Of the four entrants, only Japan survived the group stage.

Group A
July 8 in Edmonton
Canada 0 Congo 2 (Ngakosso 26, Ikouma 60).
July 8 in Toronto
Chile 0 Austria 0.
Final Standings: *Chile 7 points; *Austria 5; Congo 4; Canada 0.

Group B
July 7 in Burnaby, B.C.
Spain 4 (Adrian Lopez 29, 32, 38, Garcia 79) Jordan 2 (Al Zaideh 48, Salim 56).
July 7 in Victoria, B.C.
Zambia 2 (Mulenga pen. 22, Kola 51) Uruguay 0.
Final Standings: *Spain 7 points; *Zambia 4; *Uruguay 4; Jordan 1.

Group C
July 8 in Edmonton
Mexico 2 (Bermudez 24, Mares 78) New Zealand 1 (Pelter 89).
July 8 in Montreal
Gambia 2 (Jallow pen. 44, own goal 68) Portugal 1 (Feliciano Condesso 20).
Final Standings: *Mexico 9 points; *Gambia 6; *Portugal 3; New Zealand 0.

Group D
July 6 in Ottawa
USA 2 (Altidore 25, 81) Brazil 1 (Leandro Lima 78).
July 6 in Montreal
Poland 1 (Janczyk 45) South Korea 1 (Lee Sang Ho 78).
Final Standings: *USA 7 points; *Poland 4; *Brazil 3; South Korea 2.

Group E
July 6 in Ottawa
Argentina 1 (Aguero 35) North Korea 0.
July 6 in Montreal
Czech Rep. 2 (Kalouda 79, Strestik 82) Panama 1 (Barahona 84).
Final Standings: *Argentina 7 points; *Czech Rep. 5; North Korea 2; Panama 1.

Group F
July 7 in Victoria
Japan 0 Nigeria 0
July 7 in Edmonton
Costa Rica 2 (Herrera 57, McDonald 90) Scotland 1 (Reynolds 18).
Final Standings: *Japan 7 points; *Nigeria 7; Costa Rica 3; Scotland 0.

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