Poyet's Uruguay set for Brazilian tie

A 1-1 draw with Mali was enough for Uruguay U20s to qualify for the knock out stages
Diego Poyet’s Uruguay have progressed to the Round of 16 where they will face Brazil on Thursday 11 June.  

The talented midfielder played the full game as Uruguay drew 1-1 with Mali to come second in Group D of the U20 World Cup in New Zealand.  

Uruguayan forward Franco Acosta put his side ahead in the 16th minute, finishing Ramiro Guerra’s well-executed pass. 

However, Malian attacking midfielder Adama Traore, who plays for Lille, levelled the score just before half-time. 

With Serbia beating Mexico in the other group game, Mali had the better opportunities of the second half yet the South Americans held firm to secure a crucial point. 

Speaking after the game, the West Ham United midfielder spoke of his delight at getting through a tough group: “The teams very happy to have gone through, in which was by far the toughest group. Anyone in the group could have gone through and we're very pleased. 

“We've drawn Brazil, whom so far have had a really good World Cup scoring lots of goals, so it will be a tough game but one that we will not shy away from, especially even more so as they are a from South America too. 

“The game was tough, I started off playing in midfield and then had to play the last 30 minutes at centre back, but we knew a draw would get us through and we saw the game out well.”

Uruguayan coach Fabian Coito echoed Poyet’s sentiments, saying: “It was a very difficult match for us, and the fact that we were dependent on results elsewhere meant that our nerves were really jangling. 

“We wanted to finish first, but we couldn’t quite make it in the end. I think Mali are a very fine team and a draw was the right result.”   

Uruguay will play Brazil on Thursday 11 June, 7.30pm local time in Hamilton, New Zealand.