Japan ensured their 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup journey will continue after a goalless draw against Group B winners Italy at Bydgoszcz Stadium today.
Knowing a point would be enough to secure their passage to the knock-out phase, Japan head coach Masanaga Kageyama's side played with more urgency than already-qualified Italy, with more possession and shot attempts than Paolo Nicolato's team.
The Italian manager made nine changes from their last game and gave six players their first minutes at the tournament, including goalkeeper Marco Carnesecchi, who came up with the match's biggest moment when he saved Hiroki Ito's penalty in the 11th minute.
Referee Mustapha Ghorbal awarded the penalty after Kyosuke Tagawa was brought down by Alessandro Buongiorno.
Today's other Group B match saw an early goal from Gonzalo Plata help Ecuador beat Mexico 1-0 at Gdynia Stadium.
Though Ecuador have finished behind Italy and Japan, their four points give them a good chance of reaching the last 16 as one of the top four third-place finishers.
They will have to wait for other results to decide their fate.
Mexico have been eliminated having lost all three of their games.
In Group A, Poland squeezed through to the last 16 after a 0-0 draw with Senegal that sealed top spot for the Africans.
The hosts advance as one of the best third-placed teams, having been leapfrogged by Colombia, who were 6-0 winners against Tahiti in the section’s other fixture.
Poland were roared on throughout by a raucous and partisan crowd at Lodz Stadium but, despite constructing some promising moves, they struggled to breach a defence that has yet to concede at the tournament.
Juan Hernandez bagged a hat-trick for Colombia in their thrashing of Tahiti at Lublin Stadium, following on from a Luis Sinisterra brace.
Déiber Caicedo completed the rout in the 87th minute, shortly after Tahiti defender Mauri Heitaa was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The tournament is due to continue tomorrow with the conclusion of Groups C and D.