South Africa lose, Mali draw opening U20 World Cup games

TYCHY, POLAND - MAY 25: Referee Ivan Kruzliak shows the red card to Keenan Phillips of South Africa during the FIFA U-20 World Cup match between Argentina and South Africa on May 25, 2019 in Tychy, Poland. (Photo by Lukasz Sobala/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)
TYCHY, POLAND – MAY 25: The South Africa players pose for a team photo during the FIFA U-20 World Cup match between Argentina and South Africa on May 25, 2019 in Tychy, Poland. (Photo by Lukasz Sobala/PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images)

South Africa and Mali failed to register wins in their opening games of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland on Saturday.

10-man South Africa were defeated 5-2 by pre-tournament favourites Argentina in Group F at the Tychy City Stadiumin Tychy. Fausto Vera opened the scoring after just four minutes but Keenan Phillips equalised on 23 minutes to take the tie level at halftime.

Esequiel Barco netted two quickfire goals on 63 and 71 minutes against the South Africans, who had goal scorer Keenan Philips sent off for a foul on 65 minutes. Julian Alvarezadded a fourth to give the Argentines a strong lead.

Lyle Foster’s 85thminute penalty proved to be a consolation as Adolfo Gaichrounded off the scoring in injury time for an emphatic win.

In Group E, Mali drew 1-1 against a determined Panama at the Zdzisław Krzyszkowiak Stadium in Bydgoszcz. Panamaearned a point through a Diego Valantapenalty on 87 minutes. Boubacar Konte gave Mali the leadon 39 minutes. Konte’s strike from outside the penalty box would be named goal of the day by FIFA.

https://twitter.com/FIFAcom/status/1132375766606462976

Mali could have extended their advantage but were denied by keeper Marcos Allen, who made a number of saves including a reflex stop from point-blank range in the first half.

Following the results, South Africa lie bottom of Group F while Mali are third in Group E. South Africa next play South Korea on Tuesday while Mali play Saudi Arabia on the same day.