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FIFA U20 World Cup: Uruguay crowned champions following triumph over Italy

Uruguay U20 1 – 0 Italy U20

Players of Uruguay pose for a picture with the trophy after defeating Italy and winning the Argentina 2023 U-20 World Cup [Credit: Alejandro Pagni]

A late Luciano Rodríguez goal left the Uruguayans dancing in the stands as they were crowned world champions over Italy.

They won the title not too far from home, displaying a dominant team performance in Argentina.

A second half Anderson Duarte goal was enough to see Uruguay past Israel in the semi-final while Italy left it late against South Korea, winning 2-1 and booking a spot in the final.

What Happened?

After ten minutes, Fabricio Díaz came close to giving Uruguay an early advantage on a couple of occasions as he struck twice from range in a matter of moments with both going wide.

Italy goalkeeper Sebastiano Desplanches produced an unbelievable save to prevent Duarte’s driven header as we reached the midway point of the first half still goalless.

Desplanches reacted quick and palmed the effort up and over the bar, denying what looked to be a certain goal.

Duarte came close again ten minutes later as the ball was fizzed across the box, but the striker couldn’t quite connect for the finish.

Uruguay played at a high tempo and were constantly on the front foot as the first half drew to a close.

The South Americans continued to be aggressive following the interval but were missing the cutting edge required to take the lead against the resilient Italians.

With 20 minutes to go captain Díaz tested Desplanches with a long-range effort but the goalkeeper held it well.

Franco González stood out for La Celeste as his tricky footwork and close control caused problems for the Italian defence.

Following an unsavoury challenge on Díaz, Matteo Prati was shown a red card as he lifted his stoods high towards his opponent’s leg.

However, after consultation with VAR and a review at the on-field monitor, the referee changed the decision from a red to a yellow card for the challenge.

The drama continued, Rodríguez put Uruguay ahead in the 86th minute as the ball bounced around in the box with the winger eventually nodding the ball down and into the back of the net.

VAR was involved once again and spent several minutes checking the goal for any potential wrongdoing, but the goal was given.

The stoppages meant 11 minutes were added on and the South Americans fended off the Italian’s efforts and they even came close on the counter, but Desplanches did enough to keep them out.

The win meant Uruguay were crowned FIFA U20 World Cup champions for the first time in their history.

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