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Italy beats Brazil, Japan shocks Senegal at FIFA Under-20 World Cup

By Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES: Two of the title favorites lost their opening games at the Under-20 World Cup on Sunday when Italy upstaged Brazil 3-2 and Japan produced a shocking 1-0 upset win over Senegal.

Nigeria and Colombia won their matches in dramatic fashion, both by scores of 2-1 against much weaker rivals Dominican Republic and Israel.

Italy raced to a 3-0 lead in the Group D match, opening in the 11th minute when midfielder Matteo Pratti shot from close range. Italy doubled its lead after Brazil goalkeeper Mycael failed to stop a cross and left the ball for a clear header by midfielder Cesare Casadei in the 27th. Casadei added a third in the 35th from the spot.

Brazil regrouped and scored two goals through striker Marcos Leonardo, the first in the 72nd and the second with a header in the 87th, but it was too little too late.

Senegal was stunned early by Japan in its Group C match in La Plata. Striker Kuryu Matsuki scored in the 15th and that allowed the Japanese to sit back. Senegal winger Samba Diallo, one of the expected stars of the tournament, failed to deliver and was substituted in the 73rd.

Earlier, Nigeria trailed the Dominican Republic in their Group D match in Mendoza after Edison Azcona opened the scoring from the spot in the 23rd. But the African team’s high intensity paid off in the second half.

The Nigerians equalized after an own-goal by left-back Guillermo de Peña in the 31st and got the winner with Samson Adeniran Lawal in the 70th minute.

Colombia faced difficulties before edging Israel with a late winner in their Group C match in La Plata. Dor David Turgeman scored for the Israelis in the 57th, but Colombia rallied with goals from Oscar Cortez in the 74th and Gustavo Puerta in the 90th.

Colombia next plays Japan on Wednesday. In other matches Wednesday, Italy and Nigeria face off and Brazil takes on Dominican Republic.

Argentina took Indonesia’s spot in the tournament as host and participant. Protests in Muslim-majority Indonesia against hosting Israel forced FIFA into a very late switch of venues.

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