Germany, Brazil top groups at U20 World Cup

By Steve McMorran ,AP

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Germany and Brazil had emphatic wins to close the group stages of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup on Sunday, leaving both atop their pools but with tricky assignments ahead in the second round.

Germany beat Honduras 5-1 to finish Group F with three-straight wins – with 16 goals for and two against – while Brazil, also with three wins, topped Group E ahead of Nigeria after a 3-0 win over North Korea.

The last day of group matches in the 24-team tournament confirmed matchups in the round of 16, which starts Wednesday.

European champions Germany, which won the tournament in 1981, will meet Nigeria, which has never won the Under-20 title, despite twice finishing runners-up and winning the world under-17 title four times.

Nigeria ended the group stage with a 2-0 win over Hungary which left it in second place in Group E, with two wins and a 4-2 loss to Brazil, forcing its early clash with Germany in the knockout rounds.

Brazil will face Uruguay in its round of 16 match on Thursday after Uruguay finished second in Group D behind Serbia, which will play Hungary next round.

Uzbekistan beat Fiji 3-0 Sunday in the other match on the last day of Group play to set up a meeting with Austria.

In other matches in the next round, the United States will play Colombia, Ghana faces Mali, Ukraine play Senegal, and Portugal meet host New Zealand.

South American champions and pre-tournament favorite Argentina failed to qualify from Group B.

Germany was impressive in its win Sunday over Honduras, adding to is 8-1 win over Fiji and 3-0 win over Uzbekistan.

Marc Stendera scored the opening goal in the second minute, calmly sending the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot after Carlos Moncada had crudely brought down Levin Oztunali. Stendera then provided a brilliant through-ball in the 30th minute which Julian Brandt lofted over `keeper Roberto Lopez and into the roof of the net.

Hany Mukhtar scored the third four minutes into the second half when his free kick took a wicked deflection off Jose Escalante and Grischa Proemel added the fourth 12 minutes later. Nicklas Stark rounded out the scoring from a corner in the 81st minute.