- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 3, 2015

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Portugal swept imperiously into the knockout rounds of the Under-20 World Cup with a 4-0 win over Qatar on Wednesday, while Mexico revived its campaign after a woeful opening match by defeating Uruguay 2-1.

Two Mexico players were sent off in their first-up, 2-0 loss to Mali, but they demonstrated greater discipline against Uruguay, rallying after conceding a late equalizer to seal the win with a goal in the third minute of stoppage time.

Portugal beat Senegal 3-0 in its opening match and guaranteed its place in the round of 16 with an impressive win over the Asian Confederation champion.

Qatar’s second straight Group C loss ruled it out of contention for the next round, and raised further questions about FIFA’s decision to award the 2022 World Cup to a nation which has little footballing pedigree.

Coached by Felix Sanchez of Spain, Qatar was unbeaten in the Asian qualifying tournament to earn a place at the Under-20 World Cup for the first time in 20 years. That raised hopes that Sanchez’s squad, which contains Europe-based players, would provide the basis of the Qatar team that will qualify for the 2022 tournament as host nation.

After being outclassed in two matches in New Zealand and with a match still to play against Senegal, it seems unlikely Qatar has the foundation of a team that will be competitive in 2022.

“Although my team were organized, we could not match the quality of our opponents,” Sanchez said. “We were more confident in the second half, but after the third goal we knew we couldn’t get back in the game.

“We still have room for progression. Hopefully, this experience will better the players.”

Qatar must win its final group match against Senegal to have any chance of qualifying for the round of 16.

Winger Ivo Rodrigues was Portugal’s star, scoring twice and setting up another as Helio Sousa’s team maintained its shape and form in occasionally torrential rain.

Mexico showed poise against Uruguay to stake its claim for qualification from an increasingly tight Group D. After two rounds all four teams in the group have one win.

Serbia’s 2-0 win over Mali allowed it to match Mali, Uruguay and Mexico with 1-1 records. It leads the group with a slightly superior goal differential ahead of its last match against Mexico on Saturday.

Colombia gave itself a good chance to follow Portugal into the round of 16 from Group C with a 1-1 draw with Senegal.

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