France and hosts Brazil confidently claimed the last two semi-final places at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup today, with Spain and Italy exiting the competition.
The two teams join The Netherlands and Mexico, who will lock horns in the first of the two semi-finals on Thursday (November 14).
The day began with an avalanche of goals at Estádio Olímpico in Goiânia, to the extent that France’s 6-1 win over Spain represented the greatest margin of victory in a FIFA Under-17 World Cup quarter-final.
It was the Spanish who opened the scoring in the ninth minute when captain Germán Valera steered in a left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area into the bottom corner.
But it was all France from then on, with Les Bleuets proving very effective, particularly via set-pieces.
Behind for just 12 minutes, Nianzou Kouassi equalised for France in the 21st minute with a powerful header at the back post from a corner kick.
Then the red-hot Nathanaël Mbuku, who scored a hat-trick against Australia in the round of 16, gave his side the lead after timing his run perfectly to tap-in from close range and cap-off an enthralling half.
Beginning to impose themselves, France ran away with the tie in the first quarter hour of the second-half, scoring three times through Isaac Lihadji, Timothee Pembele and Georginio Rutter.
Adil Aouchiche put the icing on the cake in stoppage time.
The French, who are now the highest-scoring team in the tournament with 17 goals, have only reached the last four once before, in Trinidad and Tobago in 2001, and on that occasion they were crowned champions.
In the evening match, a large crowd at the Estádio Olímpico saw Brazil put in their best performance of the competition in a 2-0 win over Italy.
The three-time champions and first-time hosts flew out of the gates, stringing together passes down the left side to open the scoring in the sixth minute.
Pedro Lucas' through ball sprung Patryck free, and the left-back raced into the box.
He rocketed his shot high at the near post, beating Italy goalkeeper Marco Molla.
Five minutes from half-time, Peglow was a one-man counter attack, bursting through midfield and searching for an opening in the Italian defence.
Just when it looked like the window was closing, Brazil's number 10 escaped his marker and received a pass from Lucas.
He took his chance low, clanging the ball off the far post and into the net.
Brazil will now feature in a semi-final for the ninth time.