| Emirati Ismail Matar (centre) fights for the ball with Panama’s Joel Solanilla (right) and Juan Ramon Solis during their Fifa world youth championship group A match in Abu Dhabi on Monday. UAE won 2-1. (AFP)
Sharjah: Argentina scraped through to the second round of the World Youth Championship, needing a controversial injury-time penalty to defeat 10-man Uzbekistan 2-1.
Burkina Faso were the only other team to secure spot in the last 16 after two rounds of the championship Monday, defeating Slovakia 1-0 in group A.
Brazil, also tournament favourites, will have to wait until Thursday when they play Australia to see if they qualify. Monday they were held 1-1 by the Czech Republic in a group C match.
David Limbersky scored for the Czechs against the run of play in the 34th minute with a perfectly timed bicycle kick from close range. But the lead lasted only three minutes as Adailton equalised from inside the box after connecting with a Daniel Carvalho corner kick.
Argentina trailed Uzbekistan for more than an hour, thanks to Alexander Geynrikh’s fourth-minute free kick, putting the defending champions in an early hole.
Uzbekistan went a man down in the 54th minute but held their ground until the 70th minute when Leandro Fernandez scored on a pass from Fernando Cavenaghi, who later converted the spot-kick for the group B win.
In Abu Dhabi, Ousseni Zongo scored the lone goal as Burkina Faso edged out Slovakia 1-0 in a group A match to book a place in the final 16.
In Dubai, Australia defeated Canada 2-1 on goals from Alex Brosque and substitute Matt McKay.
The Aussies dominated most of the match, which saw South Korean referee Kwon Jong-chul hand out five yellow cards – three to Australian players and two to Canada.
Hosts UAE kept their hopes alive, beating 10-man Panama 2-1 in front of 18,000 home fans on goals from Shehab Ahmed and Saleh Hamad.
Ahmed opened the scoring for the Emirates in the group A match in the 18th minute by converting a penalty.
Armando Gun equalised for Panama in the 36th, but Hamad netted the winner in the 79th minute to give the host nation their first win of the championship.
In another group B match, Spain’s Juanfran and Sergio Garcia scored a goal each to defeat Mali 2-0 and remain in contention for a spot in the second round.