In a thrilling match on Sunday, Uruguay emerged victorious with a 1-0 win against Italy, claiming their first-ever Under-20 World Cup championship.
This achievement also put an end to the four-year winning streak of European teams in the tournament.
The decisive goal was scored by Luciano Rodríguez in the 86th minute, as he expertly headed the ball into the net from close range.
Uruguay’s triumph was well-deserved, considering their dominant performance throughout the entire match against Italy.
The Diego Maradona Stadium was filled with over 40,000 passionate fans, predominantly supporting Uruguay.
Among the spectators was FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who witnessed the historic moment.
Uruguay’s remarkable defensive strategy proved to be instrumental in their victory, as they had only conceded three goals throughout the entire tournament, all of which were against England during the group stage.
Early on, the South American team had several clear opportunities to take the lead. Luciano Rodríguez took a promising free kick, captain Fabricio Díaz attempted two powerful long-range shots, and Anderson Duarte’s header forced goalkeeper Sebastiano Desplanches to make a remarkable save, considered one of the best of the tournament.
The final was so captivating that the country’s soccer association suspended Sunday’s round of the national championship, allowing fans to fully focus on supporting Uruguay in their quest for glory against Italy.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 11, 2023
Italy’s Cesare Casadei, the tournament’s top scorer with seven goals, had a disappointing performance in the final.
Italy coach Carmine Nunziata acknowledged Uruguay’s superiority in the match but mentioned that the poor condition of the pitch had an adverse effect on his players.
He further expressed that despite the loss, their remarkable journey shouldn’t be undermined, as participating in multiple matches is no easy feat.
Ultimately, the champions proved to be better on the day.
Unlike Brazil, Argentina, and England, Uruguay and Italy were not initially considered favorites in the U20 World Cup, mainly due to fewer obstacles faced in releasing players from their respective clubs for the tournament.