Going into the tournament, neither Uruguay nor France was a strong favorite to win it all. Both teams finished third in their continental qualifiers, barely making the tournament. Now, both teams will play for their first-ever FIFA U-20 title.
In the semifinal game against Iraq, Uruguay’s Gonzalo Bueno netted a 87’ equalizer to send the game to a nail-biting penalty shootout. Uruguay won the 7-6 contest to progress to the final match. France sealed its place in the finals after a 2-1 victory over Ghana; French striker Florian Thauvin scored twice for Les Blues to cement the final result.
Fans watching this game can expect to see Uruguay’s toughness and creativity show through, led by team captain Gaston Silva, Diego Laxalt and Giorgian De Arrascaeta. Keep an eye on Sebastian Cristoforo as well. Cristoforo is an engine of a player, who can dish out gorgeous passes and manufacture goal-scoring opportunities. A small country with a rich soccer history and passion, Uruguay, from the youth level to the senior team, are gaining respect on the world with every tournament. This is Uruguay’s second world final in a row, after the U-17 team’s performance in Mexico in 2011.
Coming into the final match, France are the top scorers of the tournament, so a high-scoring match is a definite possibility. France will rely on impressive ball movement, strong crosses and ability to win one-on-one match ups to defeat the La Celeste. France’s Lucas Digne and Dimitri Foulquier have gained confidence throughout the tournament and French goalkeeper Alphonse Areola came up with some big saves against Ghana. Fans should expect these players to shine against Uruguay.
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In an exhilarating, hard-fought finale, France defeated Uruguay to bring home the country’s first FIFA U-20 World Cup title. The match was scoreless through regulation and extra time, and came to down to penalty kicks. Uruguay’s Lucas Olaza scored La Celete’s only goal of the match, while France’s Axel Ngando, Jordan Veretout, Paul Pogba and Dimitri Foulquier netted four penalty kicks to seal the victory for France. FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 tournament honors were also awarded on Saturday. France’s Pogba won the adidas Golden Ball, Ghana Ebenezer Assifuah won othe adidas Golden Boot and Uruguay’s Guillermo De Amores took home the adidas Golden Glove.