Argentina’s U-17 men’s football team lost on penalties against Germany in the FIFA U-17 World Cup semifinal this Tuesday and will now play for the bronze medal. The team coached by Diego Placente tied 3-3 against Die Mannschaft in regulation time forcing a penalty shootout, but were unable to win and make it to the final.
Argentina will now play Mali, who lost 2-1 to France in the other semifinal. The game will be Friday at 9 a.m. Argentina time.
The Albiceleste started the game strong, full of confidence after its 3-0 thrashing of Brazil, moving the ball and looking to break down the defense. However, it was actually Germany that got ahead first. Nine minutes in, striker Paris Brunner went past right-back Dylan Gorosito and unleashed a powerful shot from a tight angle to make it 1-0.
Argentina shook off the blow quickly and continued to control the game. At the 35th minute, Gorosito struggled past the German defense for a cross that striker Agustín Ruberto put in to tie the game.
Nine minutes later, Ruberto received the ball in the box and dribbled past a defender to score once again and make it 2-1 for Argentina.
The second half looked like it would be more of the same, with Argentina in control and having several opportunities to extend its lead. However, it was Germany once again who better seized its chances, with Bruner taking advantage of a bad pass from Argentine goalkeeper Jeremías Florentin to dribble into the box and tie the game 2-2 in the 57th minute.
With the game wide open, Germany punished another Argentine mistake, as striker Max Moerstedt headed in the 3-2 from a failed clearance by Juan Villaba.
The Albiceleste kept pushing, with German goalkeeper Maximilian Heidel saving several clear chances. In the dying minutes of the game, it was Ruberto once again who came through for Placente’s team. The striker received a pass into space from midfielder Claudio Echeverri and shot upon receiving to tie the game 3-3 in the 96th minute and force a penalty shootout.
Placente chose to change the goalkeeper for the penalty shootout, with Franco Villaba taking Florentín’s place. Franco Mastantuono and Echeverri had their shots saved by Heidel, and even though Villalba saved Finn Jeltschs’ shot, it was Bruner who scored Germany’s fifth to make it 4-2.
The Albiceleste will now look to match its best result in the U17 World Cup, the bronze medals achieved in 1991, 1995, and 2003. The game against Mali will be available for free viewing via Argentina’s national public broadcaster, TV Pública, or through the cable sports channel TyC Sports.
The final, between Germany and France, will be played on Saturday at 9 a.m.