Medellin, Colombia, Aug 5: Six-time champion Argentina defeated North Korea 3-0 on Thursday in its final group match in the Under-20 World Cup, advancing to the second round and sending the Asian team home.
Facundo Ferreyra opened the scoring in the 36th minute, with second-half goals coming from Lucas Villafanez in the 84th and Adrian Cirigliano in stoppage time.
Coach Walter Perazzo played the match without star Erik Lamela, who has an ankle injury."We had to win a spot in the next round, and Argentina went after the match -- but patiently," Perazzo said. "It was a strange match. We created a lot of chances but it took us time to break through."
The victory gave Argentina seven points from three matches and top spot in Group F. North Korea finished last in the group with one point. Mexico advanced with four points following a 0-0 draw with England. The English have three points and are relying on other results to advance.
Despite needing a victory, North Korea played a defensive game, with Argentina having 60 percent of possession. "Argentina is a very strong team and attacking would not have been prudent," North Korea coach Jo Tong Sop said. Argentina has won this event six times, including five of the last eight.AP