Analysis: Uruguay becomes FIFA U-20 world champion

The South American team lifted the trophy for the first time after a 1-0 win against Italy in La Plata

Uruguay came out on top after a thrilling 1-0 match against Italy in the Estadio Único Diego Armando Maradona in La Plata and became U-20 world champions for the first time. 

The triumphant goal was scored in the 86th minute by the striker Luciano Rodríguez in a very messy play in Italy’s box— a header that arrived after a cross into the box followed by a fierce battle for the ball in Italy’s territory. 

With the 23rd edition of the tournament all wrapped up, it’s time to look back on both teams’ paths to the final and the promising young players they send back to the world after this experience. 

Source: Télam

Fair finalists 

Both teams faced a challenging road to reach today’s game. Uruguay started with strong opponents in the group stage, including England and Tunisia, losing in one of the best games of the tournament against the former and clinching a victory against the latter. The elimination stage was no breeze either, with a tight win against Gambia in the sweet 16 round, a dangerous encounter with the United States in the quarter-finals, and a clash against underdogs Israel.  

As for Italy’s road to the final, they too battled with heavyweight teams — Brazil and Nigeria in the group stage, England in the sweet 16, and Colombia in the quarter-finals gave coach Carmine Nunziata and the “Azurri” more than one headache in Argentina. 

Both teams have a similar tactical approach so in today’s match they mirrored each other and exchanged blow for blow, resulting in a very entertaining game. As expected, both teams left their heart on the pitch, and the champion was decided by the team who took advantage of the few clear chances that were available. In this case, Uruguay’s strikers didn’t get scared when facing the chance to come out on top, and that fearlessness helped them bring it home. 

The only surprise this match could have given us was a boring experience, as risk and verticality with the ball is the motto of both teams, so it could’ve gone either way. It would have been Italy’s first FIFA U-20 World Cup win, had things gone differently.

Source: Télam

Football’s young prospects

The success of both teams in the tournament is in great part due to the players. Many stars rose to the occasion to get their team as far as they could and became very interesting prospects to keep an eye on in the following years. 

Uruguay’s center-back pairing attracted lots of attention from the media these last weeks. Both Sebastián Boselli, who has been reportedly in talks to join local giants River Plate in the next transfer window, and Valencia’s Facundo Gonzalez showed a class display of what a modern central defender should be: strong air game, confident with passes, and fast on the guard. 

In the midfield for the South Americans, Fabricio Díaz surprised everyone not only with his defensive reads but also for his offensive proficiency, giving tons of dynamical play to “La Celeste”. Striker Andrés Duarte was a troublemaker for the rival defense in every game. His non-stop pressure and great footwork got him putting the ball in the back of the net 3 times in this tournament, being the lead goalscorer of the squad. 

Source: Télam

On Italy’s end, they discovered many players that could bump them again in the right direction as they rebuild the senior national team, after failing to qualify for the World Cup twice in a row. 

Sebastiano Desplanches continued the long-lasting Italian tradition of top-notch goalkeepers, being very classy with his saves and fancy while playing with the ball with his feet. 

The offensive threat that the European squad represented during this outing was off the charts. Both Tomasso Baldanzi with his classic “10” play style of sharp passes and Chelsea’s Antonio Cassadei’s surprising firepower for a midfielder, becoming the tournament-leading goalscorer with seven goals, left everyone very excited for this dynamic duo’s future.


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald