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2017 U-20 World Cup round-up, quarterfinals: Santiago Mele leads Uruguay to semifinals

Uruguay 'keeper Mele produced a string of saves to see his team past Portugal on PKs.

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Uruguay was the favorite to win its quarterfinal against Portugal, but perhaps not like this. Xande Silva opened the scoring for Portugal in the first minute: for the first time at the 2017 U-20 World Cup, Uruguay had conceded a goal and was chasing the game.

Santiago Bueno equalized in the 16th minute, but Diogo Goncalves had Portugal ahead again shortly before half-time with a shot that deserved to be the match-winner.

It wasn't: Fedrico Valverde tied the scores again, converting a 50th-minute penalty.

The score stayed at 2-2 through 90 minutes and extra-time, and the teams each scored their first four spot-kicks of the penalty shoot-out. Then Uruguay 'keeper Santiago Mele took over, saving three consecutive PKs. Bueno bagged the winning penalty for Uruguay, but Mele was the hero.

Uruguay advances to an all-CONMEBOL semifinal against Venezuela - who also got through a testing quarterfinal. Portugal heads home with the consolation that it at least found its best form before bowing out of the tournament. The Portuguese had labored through the group stage, but perked up for the knockout rounds.

Uruguay and Venezuela will face off on June 8 in Daejeon.