Good evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for the second of today's Under-20 World Cup semi-finals. Earlier we saw France progress to their first ever final, and either Iraq or Uruguay will join them there.
We'll start by looking at the tournament's main success story - Iraq. They were 2-0 down to England in the closing stages of their first group match, and many people thought that it would be the start of a short tournament for the Asian side. However, two late goals earned them a draw against the English, and since then they have gone from strength to strength.
They followed the England draw up with consecutive 2-1 wins against Egypt and Chile respectively, while a 1-0 win over Paraguay after extra time in the first knockout round booked their place in the quarters.
They provided plenty of entertainment in the last eight, beating South Korea 5-4 on penalties. That only tells half the story, however. Iraq thought that they had won the game when they took the lead in the 119th minute, but a Korean equaliser with the last kick of extra time took the game to penalties. Iraq held their nerve to reach the last four, and confidence will be sky high in their camp.
As mentioned in the introduction, perhaps the most impressive thing about Iraq's progress is that they remain unbeaten. They are the only team in the competition who can still say that, outlasting the likes of Spain and Portugal.
Moving our attention to Uruguay, the South American side are looking to uphold a great history from that continent in this competition. The likes of Argentina and Brazil have dominated it in the past, and Uruguay have the opportunity to keep it in South America after Brazil won it last time.
They pulled off a major shock in the last round, beating Spain 1-0 after extra time, and that will surely make them believe that they can go all the way in this competition. They began slowly, losing their opening game 1-0 to Croatia, but since then they have won every single match, beating New Zealand 2-0, Uzbekistan 4-0 and Nigeria 2-1.
The key to their success so far has been their defence. They have conceded fewer goals than anyone else in the competition, being beaten just twice in their five matches. They have scored nine goals, which is the fewest of the teams still left in the tournament, but they have players capable of finishing chances should the opportunity arise.
One such player is top scorer Nicolas Lopez
, who is the joint-second highest scorer in the tournament with four goals. Iraq's top scorer, meanwhile, is Farhan Shakor
, who has scored three goals despite being largely used off the bench.
The good news for Iraq is that their star player Mohanad Abdulraheem
is available again having been suspended for the last match. If Iraq are to pull off another surprise here, he will be key. Their defence will have to keep a close eye on Diego Laxalt and Giorgian de Arrascaeta, both of whom can create and score chances.
IRAQ STARTING XI: H Mohammed; A Ali, F Ali, J A Mohammed, Mustafa; Saif, Mahdi, Humam; Mohanad, Q Ali, Farhan
URUGUAY STARTING XI: De Amores; Silva, Varela, Rodriguez, Gimenez; Pais, Cristoforo, De Arrascaeta, Laxalt, Gino; Lopez
Uruguay are appearing in their fifth semi-final at the Under-20 World Cup, so they have plenty of experience. They have, however, only won one of those, reaching the final in 1997 where they lost to Argentina.
Iraq, meanwhile, have already surpassed their best performance at an Under-20 World Cup. They reached the quarter-finals in 1989, but this is their first taste of the last four at any FIFA tournament.
PREDICTION: Right, we're five minutes from kickoff in this second semi-final, which means that it is time for my prediction! Iraq have proved that they can compete with the big boys so far, but I can't see a team that beat Spain losing to Iraq. I think that Uruguay will progress to the final with a 2-0 win this evening.
The captains of both sides are just making speeches in front of the crowd vowing to play in the spirit of fair play ahead of this match. Both speeches are greeted with decent ovations, which suggests that both sides have decent support in the stadium today.
Iraq's biggest test this evening will be breaching that Uruguay defence. Silva and Gimenez were superb against Spain, while Varela in right-back is beginning to show why he has been head-hunted by Manchester United. Iraq have scored 10 goals in the competition so far, averaging two per game, so they do know where the back of the net is. This will be their toughest test yet, though.
The refereee for this evening's match will be 39-year-old Jonas Eriksson from Sweden.
The anthems have been sung, the flags have been exchanged and hands have been shaken. There is just the small matter of a photo behind a fair play banner to be taken and then we'll be ready to go!
KICKOFF: Here we go then! Iraq get us underway as both these teams compete for a place in the final to face France.
It's been a decent, positive start from Iraq here. They haven't created anything as of yet, but they look keen to get forward at every available opportunity.
Hameed is forced to come off his line to clear a long ball forward as Uruguay begin to see a little more of the ball. Good goalkeeping.
Our first shot of the match comes courtesy of De Arrascaeta, but he didn't put enough on it to trouble Hameed. Varela fed the ball into the midfielder inside the box, but his shot was tame and Hameed was down in plenty of time to save.
A half-chance for Uruguay is snuffed out by Silva very well. A cross finds Abdulraheem, who seems to have a little space inside the box. He takes a touch but Silva is on him right away, clearing the danger and winning a free kick in the process.
De Arrascaeta has a good chance to put the ball into the box from a free kick, but his delivery is poor and cleared by the first man, much to the delight of the Iraq support. There are plenty of Iraqi fans in attendance this evening.
SHOT! Laxalt keeps the ball in very well and Lopez picks it up before beating a defender on the byline and bursting into the box. His cross is cleared out only as far as Cristoforo, who lets fly from 30 yards out. His strike is dipping, but it ends up a couple of yards over the bar. Not a bad effort.
Iraq respond with a shot of their own as Ali Adnan
, who is one to watch, embarks on a good run before passing the ball inside to Humam. He tries to sweep the ball goalwards from 25 yards, but sends it bobbling harmlessly wide.
Uruguay have certainly had the better of the opening exchanges, but Iraq have begun to threaten a little more in the last few moments with a couple of promising attacks. Once again, though, the impressive Uruguay defence was up to the task.
Both sides are playing some nice football in their approach play at the moment, but the final pass is just lacking. The defences are coming out on top so far.
Hameed almost has a moment of madness as he comes to collect the ball under no pressure and looks like he is about to catch it outside his area. At the last second he lets it bounce over his head before running back to collect it. He is lucky that no Uruguay forwards were in attendance there.
SAVE! That's a very ambitious effort from Ali Faez as he shoots for goal from a free kick that is about 40 yards out. It takes an awkward bounce just in front of the keeper which makes it difficult for him, and all he can do is shovel it behind for a corner.
We're almost at the halfway stage of this first 45 minutes and we're still waiting for our first real chance. It hasn't exactly been a thriller so far, but it hasn't been boring either.
Hameed is almost caught out again, this time from a free kick. De Arrascaeta sends a long, swinging ball into the area and Hameed, who initially came out to collect any cross that might come, is forced to backtrack and stop it going directly in.
CHANCE! The best opening of the match so far falls to Uruguay. Cristoforo plays an aerial ball through to Lopez, who races beyond the defence before firing a left-footed half-volley towards the bottom corner, but Hameed was equal to it.
CHANCE! Two chances in quick succession for Lopez, but again it comes to nothing. De Arrascaeta's pass finds the striker, who fakes a shot to take it round a sliding tackle, but stumbles just as he is about to hit it. That gives Hameed vital time to come and block the initial shot, and eventually the ball bounces to De Arrascaeta, who volleys it wide. That was the best chance of the match so far.
Uruguay have definitely been the better team in this opening half an hour, but Iraq have looked capable scoring on a couple of occasions and, as long as it remains 0-0, they will fancy their chances.
The way this half has gone so far, though, Iraq would be happy to get into the break level. In the day's earlier game we saw Ghana improve significantly after half time, and Iraq need a similar improvement at the moment.
SAVE! Farhan Shakor
leads a promising break for Iraq, but he refuses to use the two players he has in support and instead goes for goal from range. It is a decent enough strike, but De Amores gets down comfortably to save.
GOAL! Iraq 1-0 Uruguay (Ali Adnan)
What was I saying about Iraq wanting to hold on? Out of nothing, they take the lead, and it is a spectacular goal. Ali Adnan lines up a free kick near the sideline, and everyone, especially the keeper, is expecting a cross. Adnan spots the vast chasm the keeper has left at his near post, however, and curls a superb free kick into the top corner at the near post. It looked like he meant it, and we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Great strike from one of Iraq's stand-out players from this tournament.
So, as things stand, Iraq will be in the final of the Under-20 World Cup. What a story that would be! There is still a long way to go for the Asian side, however, and they will be fully aware of how dangerous Uruguay can be.
That goal has really buoyed Iraq. Whereas before the goal they were second best, they are now the team that look most like scoring and are putting the Uruguayan defence under heavy pressure.
The final ball is not working for Uruguay at the moment. Varela makes a promising burst forward and goes for a one-two with Lopez, but the return pass is over-hit and rolls straight into the arms of Hameed.
Uruguay are starting to put a bit more pressure on Iraq at the end of this half. A decent cross from Rodriguez is put behind for a corner which is cleared as far as Laxalt, but the Inter Milan midfielder's shot is blocked.
We will have just the one minute of added time at the end of this half.
HALF TIME: Iraq 1-0 Uruguay
Well, what a story we could have brewing here. The Iraqi players are congratulating each other as if they've already won going into the break, with goalscorer Ali Adnan getting most of the plaudits. At the moment, his superb free kick is sending Iraq through to a historic final.
There is still a lot to do for Iraq, of course, but they managed to hold off some heavy pressure in that half and managed to nick a goal of their own. In terms of pure balance of play, Uruguay do not deserve to be losing this game. They have had the two best chances of the match - the only two chances of the match, in fact - but Mohammed Hameed and the Iraq defence have held firm so far.
It will take another huge 45 minutes from Iraq to ensure a spot in the final, but they keep proving themselves time after time in this tournament. It would be foolish to write them off now, but I struggle to see Uruguay not finding a way through in the second half with the quality they have at their disposal.
We haven't seen too much from Abdulraheem so far. Iraq will want to get him on the ball whenever possible as he has the ability to create chances for the likes of Farhan, who has shown that he is more than capable of finishing them.
As far as Uruguay are concerned, their star players have not dictated the game as they were expected to. The South American side have been on top for large periods of the half, but the likes of Laxalt, De Arrascaeta and Lopez have not made the most of their dominance.
A quick reminder of what has happened elsewhere in the Under-20 World Cup today: France beat Ghana 2-1
despite being reduced to 10 men, booking their place in the final for the first time in their history.
As things stand, Iraq will be joining France in that final while Uruguay will take on Ghana in the third-place playoff. The South American side have 45 minutes to change that and avoid becoming the latest team shocked by Iraq in this tournament.
Right, the players are on their way back out for the second half of this one. It probably isn't an exaggeration to suggest that this is the biggest 45 minutes in the careers of these Iraqi players. The same could also apply for the Uruguay players.
URUGUAY SUB: Urugay will make a change at the break and, assuming there is no injury concerns, it is a bit of a surprise. Diego Rolan replaces Diego Laxalt, who was ineffective in the first half.
KICKOFF: We're back underway here in Trabzon. Can Uruguay find an equaliser in this second half?
Uruguay make a fast start with heavy pressure, but Hameed shows good composure and a fair amount of cheek to take the ball round Rolan, who was bearing down on him, before clearing it.
Iraq, meanwhile, look out of sorts at the start of this half. They don't seem to be able to hold on to the ball for a prolonged period of time and keep gifting the ball back to Uruguay.
CHANCE! Lopez has another chance to grab a vital goal for Uruguay, but again he gets it wrong. The ball is played through to him over the top of the defence and he tries to lift it over the onrushing Hameed. Lopez manages to get it over the Iraq keeper, but it is off target, landing a couple of yards wide of the post.
There is big concern for two Iraq players following that chance, though. Hameed's momentum carried him into Ali Adnan, and the pair appeared to have a nasty-looking clash of heads. Adnan has been stretchered off and may not be able to continue, while Hameed is still down on the floor.
Hameed has had his head bandaged up and is now groggily up to his feet. He looks like he will be fine to continue, but Adnan looks less likely. The medical staff are still evaluating him on the sidelines.
YELLOW CARD! Mohammad Jabbar Arebat is shown a yellow card for kicking the ball away. It seems as if Iraq are resorting to time wasting tactics already!
Good news for Iraq as Ali Adnan comes back on to the field. He would have been a big loss to the leaders, so they will be delighted to see him able to continue.
Adnan's jaw is heavily strapped, but that isn't stopping him getting involved. He goes for goal from range, only to see his shot blocked, before getting the ball back and swinging a cross in that the keeper comes to collect.
Iraq seem content to hit Uruguay on the counter in this match. They are getting plenty of players behind the ball when Uruguay are in possession, but looking to get forward quickly whenever they get their feet on the ball.
Ali Adnan is being forced off again, this time to change his shirt which must have blood on from that cut on his jaw. Iraq are temporarily down to 10 again.
Lopez hasn't brought his shooting boots this evening. He cuts inside onto his stronger left foot before shooting from almost 30 yards, but his effort is sliced high and wide.
This is an attacking sub for Uruguay as coach Juan Verzeri looks to take the game to Iraq. On comes Gonzalo Bueno
, a striker, for Gino Acevedo.
CLOSE! Ali Adnan's left foot is a dangerous weapon for Iraq! He has already scored one spectacular free kick, but this one would have been even better. He is at least 35 yards from goal but gets such dip on the ball that it almost catches De Amores out. In the end, it goes a few yards wide, but that wasn't a bad effort at all.
SHOT! Lopez has another shooting opportunity, but again he is denied by Hameed. The ball bounces out to another blue shirt, but he is flagged for offside when in a very good position.
Adnan swings in another fine delivery from a deep free kick, but De Amores is equal to it this time. It was flicked on by an Iraqi head on its way to the goal, but it was still fairly comfortable for the Uruguay keeper.
Uruguay's urgency is increasing by the minute now. They know they have just 20 minutes to find a goal otherwise they will fall at the semi-final stage yet again. Iraq, meanwhile, are still looking to break quickly, but more and more white shirts are getting behind the ball now.
There will be plenty of stoppage time in this match, though, due to the injury to Hameed and Adnan. Hameed is getting more treatment now after his initial bandage came off.
It is Uruguay's turn to break quickly now, and they have a three-on-two situation. The ball finds its way to Rolan in the box, but he scuffs his effort tamely when he should have done a lot better. Iraq fail to clear their lines but Bueno can only flash his effort wide.
We have just under 15 minutes of normal time left, and the dream of a final is edging ever closer for Iraq. They need to keep their concentration now. Any goal conceded from now on would be heartbreaking for them.
OFF THE BAR! Uruguay are inches away from finding the equaliser! A corner is poorly defended by Iraq - which was a big problem for them in the last round too - and Silva is up highest to head goalwards. It is a good header but comes bouncing back off the bar. Uruguay haven't had luck on their side so far.
YELLOW CARD! Ali Qasim becomes the latest player to enter the referee's book for a late tackle on Pais.
URUGUAY SUB: Uruguay's final sub is another attacking one. On comes the towering figure of Felipe Avenatti to replace De Arrascaeta.
IRAQ SUB: Iraq respond with a defensive sub, bringing on defender Suad Natiq for striker Ali Qasim. It could be time to park the bus for the Asian side.
Rodriguez whips a ball in to the box but there is only one blue shirt in there, competing with at least five Iraqi defenders. Uruguay need to commit more players forward, they're running out of time.
IRAQ SUB: Farhan hasn't had his busiest game this evening, but he won't care if Iraq hold out here. He makes way for Mohammed Jabbar Shwkan, who is also a striker.
Iraq are five minutes plus stoppage time from reaching the final here. What an achievement that would be for a nation that has experienced such turmoil in their recent history.
GOAL! Iraq 1-1 Uruguay (Gonzalo Bueno)
Uruguay have done it! With two minutes left on the clock they have found an equaliser, breaking thousands of Iraqi hearts at the same time. A high ball into the area was knocked down by Felipe Avenatti right into the path of Bueno, who volleyed it into the bottom corner. To be fair, Uruguay deserve that goal, but Iraq must be gutted at having conceded so late on yet again.
There is still hope for both sides before extra time, however. There will be plenty of stoppage time due to an earlier injury. I am expecting at least six or seven minutes.
There will be even more than that! The referee's assistant holds up the board to signal eight minutes of added time. Still plenty of time for more drama here.
IRAQ SUB: Mohammed Jabbar Arebat is unable to continue having been stretchered off. He will be replaced by Ihab Kadhim.
SAVE! Ali Adnan threatens again with a powerful run down the left flank. Again he goes for goal with everyone expecting a cross, but De Amores is alert this time and tips it over. Good effort from Adnan.
From the resulting corner De Amores comes for the ball and gets nowhere near. Iraq can't make the most of it, however, as the eventual header only finds the side netting.
YELLOW CARD! Suad Natiq is booked by the ref, but it is a good yellow card to pick up as he felled Lopez as the Uruguay striker was bearing down on goal. Cynical, but clever foul.
Lopez has a chance to make himself a hero with a free kick in the last minute, but he curls it well over the bar. It looks like we'll have extra time.
END OF 90 MINUTES: Iraq 1-1 Uruguay
So, to extra time we go again! Uruguay saved themselves with a goal two minutes from the end of normal time and now Iraq have to pick themselves up from that disappointment for another 30 minutes.
Both sides went to extra time in their last match and, for Iraq, it was a very dramatic affair. Iraq scored in the 119th minute to take the lead, but Korea hit back with a goal in the 120th minute to force penalties. Uruguay, meanwhile, got the only goal of their extra time against Spain.
The accumulative effects of extra time must be starting to get to the players. This will be Iraq's third 120-minute game of the tournament. They have needed extra time in all of their knockout games so far. There were certainly a lot of tired legs at the end of normal time, so it will be interesting to see what state the players will be in at the start of extra time after a brief rest.
Both sides have used up all of their subs already, so even if tiredness sets in there will be no chance of fresh legs being introduced. It is as much about physical stamina and mental strength as it is about footballing ability now.
KICKOFF: Here we go again! Iraq get us restarted for the third time today.
Bright start to extra time for Uruguay as Bueno makes his way down the left flank before clipping a cross into the middle. Hameed comes out to make a flamboyant interception but he needs his defence to finally get it completely clear.
It is already clear to see that tiredness will be a factor in this match. These players will keep running until they physically can't anymore, but there are sloppy passes and poor first touches creeping in.
Having said that, Ali Adnan is still bombing down the left flank like it is the first minute. I can't help but feel that he will be key if Iraq are to create anything in extra time.
Iraq have had a couple of hairy moments from corners today, but nowhere near the problems they had against South Korea in the last round. It is obvious that they have been working on that in training.
CHANCE! Lopez has got pace to burn, but it is useless with finishing like he has shown tonight. Avenatti sends a long ball over the top for his fellow striker to run on to, and Lopez beats Hameed to the ball. The Uruguayan goes for a first-time half-volley but doesn't really catch hold of it, sending it into the side netting.
Adnan sends another free kick in from deep, but this time the ball into the box is too straight and it flies into the arms of De Amores.
YELLOW CARD! Uruguay pick up their first booking of the night, and it is quite a harsh one I think. Avenatti competed in the air for a header and landed on top of Saif, who stayed down for some time.
There will be two minutes of added time in this first period of extra time. Still no goals in the added 30 minutes so far.
HALF TIME IN EXTRA TIME: Iraq 1-1 Uruguay
We're still locked at 1-1 with just 15 minutes left to play, then. There weren't many chances in that opening half of extra time with Uruguay having the best two openings. The players head over to the sidelines for a drink and a couple of last words from the manager before heading back out into the middle.
KICKOFF: Uruguay get us back underway for a fourth and final time tonight. Can anyone find a winner or will we be going to penalties?
YELLOW CARD! The referee immediately hands out a yellow card, and it's another harsh one for me. Again it was a 50/50 aerial clash and the man who won it - Ali Adnan - is penalised presumably for having a raised arm.
These players are really lagging now. There are a lot more long balls being played now as the two sides just don't seem to have the energy to build an attack. Predictably, though, the strikers don't have the energy to chase the long balls!
Any winning goal we may have looks likely to come from a mistake at the moment. I can't see anyone pulling off a piece of magic in these late stages, but as the legs get even more tired then mistakes will surely start to creep in.
SAVE! De Amores hasn't exactly been busy tonight, but he is still alert enough to make a good save here. The ball comes to Ali Faez who tries a trademark long range strike, but it is comfortable enough for the Uruguay keeper.
YELLOW CARD! Bueno becomes the second Uruguay player to be booked tonight, this one for a high foot on Ihab Kadhim. He did try to pull out of that one to be fair, but you can see why the ref produced a yellow.
SAVE! Fine save from De Amores to keep Uruguay in this one! Ali Faez fires a free kick in from deep and Ali Adnan gets the faintest of touches with a header. De Amores has players running in front of him and the ball bounces just before he collects it, but he makes a very good reaction stop to keep it out.
Iraq have been the better team in this second period so far, but they will be painfully aware that anything can happen in the latter stages of extra time.
CLOSE! Hameed comes racing out to try to claim a cross but he gets nowhere near it. Silva does get his head to the cross from Rolan, but he can only steer it wide.
END OF EXTRA TIME: Iraq 1-1 Uruguay
So we go to the dreaded penalty shootout! Glory awaits one of these teams, but heartbreak will greet the other. Iraq won their last match on penalties, but can they hold their nerve again to record a historic victory?
It was been an absorbing match so far. In pure football terms, Uruguay deserved to win it, but you can't help but get caught up a little in the Iraqi fairytale.
Iraq keeper and captain Mohammed Hameed has been heavily involved in this match so far. Can he be the hero in this shootout?
URUGUAY MISS! Gianni Rodriguez steps up for the first penalty and sees it well saved by Hameed.
IRAQ MISS! Ali Faez misses for Iraq, hitting the foot of the post with a powerful drive! Still 0-0 in the shootout.
URUGUAY SCORE! There is our first goal in the shootout as Pais puts it right into the corner. Good penalty.
IRAQ SCORE! Shwkan hammers it down the middle. Emphatic!
URUGUAY SCORE! Avenatti sends the keeper the wrong way with a cool and calm spot kick.
IRAQ SCORE! Ihab Kadhim responds with a cool penalty of his own, also sending the keeper the wrong way.
URUGUAY SCORE! Bueno, who scored the goal that put Uruguay here, slots the ball into the bottom left corner.
IRAQ SCORE! Humam's heart must have been in his mouth there! He smashes it off the underside of the bar and in.
URUGUAY SCORE! These are textbook penalties now. Lopez rolls it into the bottom left corner, and Iraq must score to stay in.
IRAQ SCORE! Ali Adnan deals with the pressure very well, powering past the despairing dive of the keeper. We're into sudden death.
URUGUAY SCORE! Rolan makes no mistake with his spot kick, sending Hameed the wrong way, and the pressure is back on Iraq.
IRAQ SCORE! Abdulraheem, the Iraq star player, was never going to miss. He sends the keeper the wrong way to make it 5-5.
URUGUAY SCORE! Gimenez guides his penalty into the bottom right corner, once again sending the keeper the wrong way.
IRAQ SCORE! You can't fault these penalties at the moment! Mahdi Kamil puts his straight down the middle.
URUGUAY SCORE! Captain Gaston Silva leads by example by nestling his shot into the bottom corner.
IRAQ MISS! Saif Salman
is the man who misses the crucial penalty! He blazes it a long way over the bar, and Uruguay win the shootout!
URUGUAY WIN 7-6 ON PENALTIES!
URUGUAY ARE THROUGH TO THE UNDER-20 WORLD CUP FINAL!
It is heartbreak for Iraq as they lose in the semi-finals. They were so close to making history by reaching their first ever international final, but an 88th minute equaliser and penalty defeats sees their dreams dashed.
They will now face Ghana in the third-place playoff, and that should be a very entertaining match. Whatever happens there, though, they can leave this tournament with their heads help up high. They surpassed all expectations by making it to the last four and have been the fairytale story of this year's tournament. The future looks bright for Iraqi football.
As for Uruguay, they make it through to their second Under-20 World Cup final where they will face France. Whoever wins that game, there will be a new name etched onto the trophy. That should be a fine match between two sides who have improved as the tournament has gone on.
Casting all sentiment aside, Uruguay deserved this win tonight. They were the better team for large periods of the match and, although they were forced to wait until the 88th minute for their equaliser, in truth it could have come much sooner on another day.
So one final reminder of Saturday's schedule as the tournament enters its final day. First up will be the third-place playoff between Ghana and Iraq before the big one as France take on Uruguay in the final. You can follow both matches with me on Sports Mole from 3.30pm and 6.15pm respectively.
Right, that's it from me tonight. Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole
for today's match. Congratulations to Uruguay for reaching the final, and commiserations to Iraq, who put up such a spirited fight. I will leave you with Joe Fish's match report
, and be sure to come back for the final and third-place playoff on Saturday. Until then, goodbye!