France secured their place in the second round of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup after beating 10-man Vietnam 4-0 at the Cheonan Sports Complex today.
Marcus Thuram, the son of 1998 World Cup winner Lilian, put the European champions into the lead in the 18th minute after rising highest to power a header beyond Tien Dung Bui.
Jean-Kevin Augustin made the most of Thuram’s neat through ball to double France’s advantage four minutes later and his second goal on the stroke of half-time, having exchanged passes with Ludovic Blas, all but ended the match as a contest.
Blas was again the provider seven minutes after the break when Denis Poha scored with a well-placed 20-yard strike over Bui before a second yellow card for Dinh Trong Tran compounded Vietnam’s misery.
Augustin could have had a hat-trick today but audacious "Panenka-style" penalty in the seventh minute came back off the crossbar.
France top Group E with six points from two matches having beaten Honduras 3-0 in their opening match on Monday (May 22).
Their closest challengers are next opponents New Zealand, who moved onto four point thanks to a convincing 3-1 win over Honduras at the same venue.
Myer Bevan set the Kiwis on their way to victory with just 45 seconds on the clock, breaking from midfield and unleashing a thunderbolt from the right side of the area that crashed in off the crossbar.
Hunter Ashworth then looped a header over goalkeeper Javier Delgado to make it 2-0 in the 23rd minute
Honduras struck back through Jorge Alvarez five minutes after half-time when the midfielder successfully followed up Darixon Vuelto’s lobbed effort against the crossbar, but hopes of a comeback were soon evaporated as Bevan claimed his second goal from the penalty spot following a tangle in the area at a corner.
There was also Group F action today at the Incheon Stadium as the United States overcame Senegal 1-0 to go top of the pile and Saudi Arabia defeated Ecuador 2-1.
The US secured their victory courtesy of 17-year-old Joshua Sargent’s third goal of the tournament in the 34th minute.
Sargent received a pass from team-mate Luca de la Torre near the edge of the penalty area before turning his marker superbly and going on to shoot past Mouhamed Mbaye.
Saudi Arabia beat Ecuador thanks to two strikes from Abdulrahman Alyami, the first of which came in the seventh minute when he latched onto a perfectly-weighted through ball from Ayman Alkhulaif before driving his shot past Gian Terreros and in off the post.
Ecuador had an opportunity to equalise just before half-time after Herlin Lino was fouled in the penalty area, but Bryan Cabezas’ attempt was saved by goalkeeper Amin Albukhari.
Saudi Arabia went onto double their lead in the 84th minute as Alkhulaif found Alyami free at the back post to score and although Ecuador responded with a goal of their own late on through a close-range finish from substitute Jordy Caicedo, it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
The US have four points, while Senegal and Saudi Arabia both have three and Ecuador have one.
The last round of matches in the group are scheduled for Sunday (May 28) as Senegal play Ecuador and the US do battle with Saudi Arabia.
Action in South Korea is scheduled to continue tomorrow when Groups A and B conclude.
Group A sees England face hosts South Korea at the Suwon World Cup Stadium and Guinea go up against Argentina at the Jeju World Cup Stadium.
Mexico’s clash with Venezuela at the Suwon World Cup Stadium and Germany’s meeting with Vanuatu at the Jeju World Cup Stadium make up the Group B line-up.
Venezuela top the group and have already qualified.
Germany and Mexico will be fighting for second, which is currently held by the Central Americans.