Saudi Arabia was drawn in Group F with USA, Senegal and
Ecuador for the Under-20 World Cup Football Championship here Wednesday.
Six-time winner Argentina was drawn to face old rival
England and host South Korea in Group A.
The teams were drawn by Argentine stars Diego Maradona — who
was on the winning team in 1979 and kissed the trophy as he brought it on stage
in Suwon — and Pablo Aimar, a winner in 1997. The 24 participants were seeded
into four pots, but as host South Korea was automatically put into slot A1, and
football powerhouse Argentina found itself in pot 2.
Maradona — whose infamous ‘Hand of God’ goal set England on
the way to elimination in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal — smiled wryly when
he pulled his own country’s name from the bowl to join the host.
Minutes later, Aimar added England to the Group A mix, which
also includes Guinea.
Neither the 2015 champions Serbia nor runner-up and
five-times winner Brazil qualified for this year’s tournament. France, which
took the trophy in 2013, will face New Zealand, Honduras and Vietnam in Group
E. The tournament will be held from May 20 to June 11.
Group A: South Korea, Argentina, England, Guinea.
Group B: Germany, Mexico, Venezuela, Vanuatu.
Group C: Portugal, Costa Rica, Zambia, Iran.
Group D: Uruguay, Japan, Italy, South Africa.
Group E: France, New Zealand, Honduras, Vietnam.
Group F: USA, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Ecuador.
PSG sends letter to UEFA
Paris Saint-Germain has sent a letter of complaint to UEFA
about the referee who oversaw their spectacular collapse to Barcelona, accusing
him of ruining its Champions League campaign.
The Spanish champion’s historic win was overshadowed by a
series of controversial calls from German referee Deniz Aytekin and he awarded
them two penalties on the way to a 6-1 hammering last week to surge into the
A source with knowledge of the letter confirmed Tuesday
media reports about the dossier sent to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin; UEFA
said that it had received a letter from PSG, giving no details of its content.
The source said that the letter was designed to “point out a
series of errors” and “errors of judgement” by Aytekin.
Under-pressure PSG coach Unai Emery said in the aftermath of
Barcelona’s miracle revival from a 4-0 first-leg deficit: “We had chances to
make it 3-2 and then the refereeing decisions, I don’t know if they were right
or not, but for sure they damaged us.”
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi was less forgiving. “The
outcome of the match could have been different with more clear-sighted
officiating,” he told Le Parisien newspaper at the weekend.
“Everyone saw that Angel Di Maria should have had a penalty
that would have made the score 2-3 and kill any suspense. Not to mention that
there was no penalty on (Luis) Suarez late in the game (which was awarded).”
Evergrande denied victory
Big-spending Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande was held to a
1-1 draw in the Asian Champions League Tuesday after conceding an injury-time
penalty against Japanese team Kawasaki Frontale. Yu Kobayashi scored from the
spot in the fifth minute of injury time at Tianhe Stadium after Yu Hanchao had
handled in the area.
Thai club Muangthong United continued its impressive form to
move second behind Kashima after a 0-0 draw at 2012 Asian champion Ulsan
Esteghlal Khouzestan of Iran drew 1-1 at home with Lekhwiya
of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates’ Al-Wahda and Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia
played to a 2-2 draw at Abu Dhabi, and Al Fateh of Saudi Arabia beat Al Jazira
of the United Arab Emirates 3-1.
At Doha, Al Rayyan of Qatar beat Persepolis of Iran 3-1
after Rodrigo Tabata scored twice and set up the other goal, moving Al-Rayyan
to the top of Group D. – SG