Uruguay beat Italy to win U20 World Cup


Uruguay's midfielder Fabricio Diaz (C) holds the trophy along with his teammates after defeating Italy and winning the Argentina 2023 U-20 World Cup at the Estadio Unico Diego Armando Maradona stadium in La Plata, Argentina, on June 11, 2023. 

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 homeland, headed in from close range to reward Uruguay’s dominance and end a streak of four consecutive wins from European teams at the tournament.

More than 40,000 people — including FIFA president Gianni Infantino — attended the match at the Diego Maradona Stadium in La Plata, Argentina, while Uruguay’s Football Association suspended Sunday’s national championship fixtures so fans could watch the final.

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

Italy’s Cesare Casadei, the top tournament’s top scorer with seven goals, struggled to impact the game, while Italy coach Carmine Nunziata credited Uruguay but also blamed the pitch.

“The pitch has penalised any player who has more skills,” Nunziata said. “We had an incredible run. This match doesn’t cancel what we have done, playing all these matches is not easy. They were better than us today.”

Uruguay, who lost the final in 1997 and 2013, had chances to go ahead much earlier as Rodriguez went close with a free-kick, captain Fabricio Diaz took aim from range and Anderson Duarte forced Italy goalkeeper Sebastiano Desplanches to make one of the saves of the tournament.

A defence which conceded only three goals in the tournament — all against England in the group stage — was rarely troubled as Uruguay eventually triumphed.

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

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