France stun Germans to reach JWC last eight

KUALA LUMPUR: France virtually became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals from Group B of the Junior World Cup when they beat Germany 2-0 under a constant drizzle at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.

In the process, they demolished the Sultan of Johor Cup champions, and will play South Africa in their last match on Friday. And with six points from two matches, the French look good enough to even top Group B.

The Germans, who have three points, will play Egypt on Friday.

In an earlier Group B match, South Africa edged Egypt 3-2.

The top-two teams from Group B will play the top two from Group A in the knockout stage, and Malaysia are among the possibilities.

Germany were never in the match as Jules Verrier blasted a brace in the 10th and 40th minutes to give France a strong footing in the match.

"We are virtually in the last four after beating Germany for the first time in any junior tournaments that we have played so far. And goalscorer Verrier has always delivered for the country when he plays a big game. It is his second JWC," said France coach Matthias Dierckens.

German coach Rein van Eijk said: "We made some dumb mistakes and picked up cards which made it difficult to make a comeback. But we take it as a wake-up call for our next matches in this tournament."

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