Argentina 2023: La Celeste wins epic final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup
By Ed Emeanua
Uruguay (4-4-2): Randall Rodriguez; Rodrigo Chagas, Sebastian Boselli, Facundo Gonzalez, Alan Matturro; Fabricio Diaz, Damian Garcia, Franco Gonzalez, Juan de los Santos; Luciano Rodriguez, Anderson Duarte, Andres Ferrari.
Italy (4-3-1-2): Sebastiano Desplanches; Samuel Giovane, Daniele Ghilardi, Gabriele Guarino, Riccardo Turicchia; Cesare Casadei, Matteo Prati, Tommaso Baldanzi; Giacomo Faticanti, Francesco Esposito, Giuseppe Ambrosino, Simone Pafundi.
📋 The starting XIs for the final! #U20WC
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 11, 2023
Uruguay edged out Italy 1-0 on Sunday at the Estadio de la Plata to be crowned champions the just concluded FIFA U-20 World Cup championship in Argentina.
The game began with a measured crescendo for a goal rush as the opponents sought to gain early advantage. Italy’s Samuel Giovane robustly challenged a boisterous Uruguayan player as early as the thrid minute and the Ascoli player was lucky to escape without a card.
By the 10′ both teams strongly exerted their wills with Uruguay more poised to take the lead on the scoreboard. The sides continued to make their play on the surface against the difficulty of the ball persistently skipping off the uneven surface.
At the 7th minute mark, Allan Matturro attempted a strike as the Uruguay left back latches on to a long field ball beautifully but failed to hit the mark.
Three minutes later, it was the turn of captain Fabrizio Diaz to try his luck but his effort only went so close for La Celeste who are really posing a major nuisance for Gli Azzurrini as the ball clips the back stanchion.
Soon after, Diaz returns with another testy hit but his attempt goes wide. Uruguay are at this stage, really pressing hard and Rodriguez Lucas in the Celeste goal, continues in effect, a mere observer this far.
On the 15th minute stage of the first half, Italy breaks and Damian Garcia fouls Tommaso Baldanzi, leaving Simone Pafundi free with the ball. The Empoli player crosses as Italy appealed for handball.
The ball does appear to have clipped Sebastien Boselli on the arm but with the complexity of the handball rule these days, it is understandable why the Italians feel undone by the officiating.
The next two minutes saw the Italians with the better of the exchanges as they began to press and for the first time in the game, Gli Azzurrini have La Celeste on the backfoot.
At the 20′ mark, it was 4 shots from Uruguay against nil from the Azzurri. Despite La Celeste being the better side on the offensive, it’s Italy dominating the possession stats with 63% for the European side as opposed to the 37 (%) for the South American side.
Around the 28th minute, Sebastiano Desplanches produced a save made heaven for Italy, as he palms away a fine Anderson Duarte header, both players delivering the medley of excellent effort by the Uruguayan attacker and a stunning stop from the Italian stopper. This was arguably, the best chance of the night so far.
⏱️ Fine Primo Tempo
— Nazionale Italiana ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@Azzurri) June 11, 2023
Despite the huff and puff, the sides retired for the first half with the game in a scoreless stalemate.
La Celeste restarted the second half and Italy’s Giuseppe Ambrosino was yellow carded almost immediately as he feigned a foul and a great spot from the Swedish official.
In the 48th minute, Uruguay pressed again and win the first corner of the half. Italy managed to clear the danger but already it is appearing a similar pattern to that of the first 45’… Uruguay press and Italy on the backfoot.
On the 85th minute however, there was a major breakthrough as Rodriguez gets the goal that Uruguay deserved to win the game.