11.06.2015 13:19 h

Brazil survive scare to make U-20 quarters

Five-time champions Brazil limped into the FIFA Under-20 World Cup quarter-finals on Thursday after a penalty shoot-out with Uruguay, while fellow heavyweight Germany eased through without even hitting top gear.

Host nation New Zealand gave two-time tournament winners Portugal an almighty scare before succumbing to a late goal, and Uzbekistan eliminated Austria 2-0.

Germany maintained the ominous form that saw them score 16 goals in the group stages to comfortably down Nigeria, one of the tournament favourites.

In contrast, Brazil looked unconvincing against Uruguay, eventually advancing 5-4 on penalties after the both sides failed to find the net in 120 minutes of football.

They began slowly against a familiar South American opponent, who also held them to a 0-0 stalemate during the tournament qualifiers in January.

There were glimpses of brilliance when Brazil finally went on the attack in the second half, but they lacked a killer touch in front of goal despite the dazzling passing and movement in the build up.

Captain Danilo somehow hit high just metres from an open goal and was also unlucky to see a dipping long-range shot hit the crossbar.

Uruguay, who lost the 2013 final to France on penalties, took their chances with spot kicks, but paid the price when Rodrigo Maral sent his over the bar.

The Brazilians, who are hoping to match Argentina's record of six trophies, will face Portugal in the last eight.

The Portuguese also looked shaky against a plucky New Zealand side cheered on by an eager crowd in Hamilton.

The Europeans went ahead on 24 minutes after a piece of wizardry from Raphael Guzzo, who spun away from his defender then unleashed a snap shot past the keeper.

The hosts clawed back an equaliser mid-way through the second half, when substitute Stuart Holthusen swooped on a loose ball in the Uruguay box, setting up a tense finish.

New Zealand threatened their more fancied opponents but, just as the match appeared headed for extra time, Gelson Martins netted an 87th-minute winner, evading two defenders to send a curling shot into the corner.

The Germany-Nigeria clash pitted Europe's top qualifier against the African youth champions and it was the "Super Eagles" who created the early chances.

But Germany changed the game in a flash when Marc Stendera dispossessed a defender and flicked on the ball to Levin Oeztunali, who buried it in the corner with a left-foot drive.

The 19th-minute goal stole Nigeria's momentum and the Africans were uncharacteristically subdued for the rest of the match, mustering just one shot on target and ceding 61 percent of possession to the Germans.

Germany must overcome another African team, Mali, in the last eight to keep alive their dream of claiming a junior World Cup to match the senior one their compatriots won in Brazil last year.

Uzbekistan went into their match with the worst defensive record in the round of 16 after leaking seven goals in the pool stages.

But Austria, whose campaign has been built around solid defence, showed little inclination to test their opponents in a first half that yielded only one shot on goal.

Dostonbek Khamdamov made them pay with two second-half goals in 10 minutes, the first when he burst through a static defence and the second when he prodded home the rebound after Rustamjon Ashurmatov's shot hit the post.

His efforts earned Uzbekistan a quarter-final clash with Senegal.