UEFA European Under-19 Championship holders Spain came from two goals down to open their FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign with a 2-2 draw against Uruguay, although the side they overcame in last year's U19 final, Scotland, began with a disappointing defeat.
Ginés Meléndez's side had high hopes of making a significant impact in this competition having reached the final in 2003, yet their Group B campaign in Canada looked set for the worst possible start as two goals early in the second half from US Città di Palermo striker Edinson Cavani and another European-based forward Luis Suarez – who plays his club football in the Netherlands with FC Groningen - gave Uruguay a two-goal cushion. Spain rallied, however, Ádrián López of RC Deportivo La Coruña pulling a goal back with 19 minutes left, although it looked as if that would be insufficient only for Diego Capel to salvage a draw three minutes into added time.
"We didn't have much luck in defence," said Meléndez, whose side next play Zambia – who drew 1-1 against Jordan on Sunday – on 4 July. "We made a mistake and found it hard to get back in the game. Tactically, though, we were sound and we managed to dominate possession."
Scotland were not so fortunate, however, going down 3-1 to Japan in Victoria. The Asian side took the lead two minutes before half-time as Yosuke Kashiwagi capitalised on a mistake by Scotland captain Scott Cuthbert and a long-range Tsukasa Umesaki effort doubled the advantage in the 57th minute. Jun Aoyama added a third eleven minutes from time, before a late consolation from Scotland substitute Ross Campbell three minutes later.
'Can do better'
Tommy Wilson's side continue their Group F campaign against Nigeria – 1-0 winners against Costa Rica in their first fixture – on Wednesday and the Scotland coach is optimistic his side can improve. "Japan played very well and we uncharacteristically made a few mistakes which didn't help us," said Wilson."I'm sure we will benefit from this match and come back fitter and sharper in the next game and give a better performance. For us it's the first match of the season and a World Cup game. That makes it difficult, but we are a resilient bunch, and we know we can do better."
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.