By: Gyang Dakwo
Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 on Sunday to win its first Under-20 World Cup title. The Celeste’s victory ends a streak of four consecutive wins of European teams in the tournament.
Luciano Rodríguez scored the winning goal in the 86th minute in a header from close range, giving Uruguay a much deserved victory after an entire match of dominance against Italy.
More than 40,000 people, mostly cheering for Uruguay, attended the match at the Diego Maradona Stadium. FIFA President Gianni Infantino was also present.
Uruguay barely needed to count on its steady defense, which conceded only three goals in the tournament, all against England in the group stage.
The South American team had clear chances to open the scoring much earlier in a free kick taken by Rodríguez, two long distance shots by captain Fabricio Díaz and a header by Anderson Duarte that forced goalkeeper Sebastiano Desplanches to make one of the best saves of the tournament.
On a night tournament top-scorer Cesare Casadei was under lock, the Italians failed to threaten the opposition goal in a one-team dominated final.
In the end, Luciano Rodriguez headed home the winner in the 86th minute to bag a first ever FIFA U-20 World Cup title for Uruguay.
Uruguay, two-time losing finalists in 1997 and 2013 finally ends Europe’s dominance in the competition. Brazil were the last winners from South America in 2011.
In a related development, Israel beat South Korea 3-1 to secure third place in their debut FIFA U-20 World Cup appearance.