Soccer: Junior All Whites fall to Uruguay

The Junior All Whites lost to Uruguay in their second match at the FIFA under-20 World Cup.
The Junior All Whites lost to Uruguay in their second match at the FIFA under-20 World Cup.

The Junior All Whites have suffered their second defeat at the FIFA under-20 World Cup in Turkey, falling to Uruguay 2-0.

The loss leaves New Zealand needing to win their final group game against Croatia to have any chance of reaching the next round.

With Croatia and Uzbekistan playing out a 1-1 draw in the other group game this morning, New Zealand sit on the bottom of the group with no points. However a big win over Croatia could earn them a spot in the second round as best third-placed team.

They'll need a vast improvement on today's performance to have any chance to progress after Uruguay dominated proceedings.

A stunning free kick from Uruguay's Giorgian De Arrascaeta three minutes into the game set the tone for the South Americans. New Zealand goalkeeper Scott Basalaj had no chance as De Arrascaeta curled his shot into the top left corner. From there Uruguay were content to keep possession throughout the first half, limiting New Zealand to just one shot off target from Ryan Thomas.

The recalled Nicolas Lopez in attack for Uruguay was a constant threat to New Zealand. Simon Arms did well to block a goal-bound effort just before halftime, after the skilful attacker found himself in space at the edge of the New Zealand area.

Uruguay continued to control the game in the, searching for the second goal that would end New Zealand's stout resistance. Lopez again forced Basalaj into a fine save, smartly turning in the area with Basalaj equal to the shot.

Lopez was getting closer and closer though and after a mazy run ended with a shot over the bar, the attacker finally got his goal and Uruguay's second. The attacker picked up a ball from defender Felipe Avenatti in the area and though his initial effort struck the post he reacted quickly to tap the ball into the empty net.

New Zealand's final game in the group stages is against Croatia on June 29.

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