Warsaw: All four places in the semi-finals at the ongoing Under-20 football World Cup here have been grabbed after Ecuador and South Korea beat their opponents.
In a thrilling encounter on Saturday, Ecuador sent the United States packing with a 2-1 scoreline at the Gdynia Stadium. "We're so proud of our boys," the Ecuadorian president gushed on Twitter. "Terrific mentality and togetherness. That's the Ecuador that's emerging. Let's stride into the future together!," he wrote.
In a statement, the Ecuador coach Jorge Celico said his team had "developed brilliantly here in Poland. We were lacking a bit of self-confidence at the start, but that's grown with each passing game," reports Xinhua news agency.
As for the US, coach Tab Ramos lamented the disappointing result, but said the team had "shown we can compete with the best teams in the world. That's a great accomplishment for us."
In the other encounter, South Korea and Senegal slogged for an edge only to stay even with 3-3. South Korea, however, won after a 3-2 penalty shoot-out. On Friday, Ukraine had edged Colombia 1-0 and Italy saw off Mali 4-2 in the quarterfinals.
The semi-finals will take place on June 11, with Ukraine taking on Italy in Gdynia, and Ecuador facing South Korea in Lublin.