July 23, 2024

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Uruguay beat Italy to win the U-20 World Cup

Uruguay beat Italy to win the U-20 World Cup

Luciano Rodriguez scored four minutes from time as Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 to win the Under-20 World Cup.

Rodriguez, who plays for Liverpool Montevideo in his home country, headed in from close range to reward Uruguay’s dominance and end a run of four straight victories by European sides in the tournament.

More than 40,000 people – including FIFA president Gianni Infantino – attended the match at Diego Maradona’s stadium in La Plata, Argentina, while Uruguay’s football federation suspended national championship matches on Sunday so fans could watch the final.

“This is crazy, crazy, we deserve it,” Rodriguez said tearfully after the match. “We are living a dream.”

Italy’s Cesare Casadi, the tournament’s top scorer with seven goals and Ballon d’Or winner, struggled to impress the game, but won two individual awards after impressing overall.

Italy coach Carmine Nunziata took the credit to Uruguay but also blamed the pitch.

“The stadium punishes any player with more skills,” Nunziata said. “We had an incredible run. This match doesn’t cancel out what we did, and playing all these games is not easy. They were better than us today.”

Uruguay, who lost the final in 1997 and 2013, had chances to advance much earlier as Rodriguez came close with a free kick, captain Fabricio Diaz volleyed in from long range and Anderson Duarte forced Italy goalkeeper Sebastiano DeBlanche into a contentious save.

A defense that conceded just three goals in the tournament – all against England in the group stage – was rarely troubled as Uruguay eventually prevailed.

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Earlier, newcomers Israel beat South Korea 3-1 to secure third place at the same stadium in La Plata.

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(Photo: Getty Images)