Luciano Rodriguez’s late header propelled Uruguay to their maiden FIFA U20 World Cup victory after a tense 1-0 victory over Italy at the Diego Maradona Stadium on Sunday.

After dominating Italy throughout the whole game, Uruguay earned a well-deserved victory in the 86th minute on a header from close range by Luciano Rodrguez.

Uruguay’s victory also ended a streak of four consecutive wins of European teams in the FIFA U20 World Cup.

“This is crazy, crazy, crazy and we deserve it,”

“We are living a dream.”

Said a tearful Luciano Rodriguez after the match.

Italy’s Cesare Casadei, the leading scorer of the FIFA U20 World Cup with seven goals, found it difficult to have an impact on the match. Italy coach Carmine Nunziata, however, gave credit to Uruguay but also blamed the pitch.

“The pitch has penalised any player who has more skills,”

“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.”

Nunziata said.

Uruguay, having lost two finals of the FIFA U20 World Cup in 1997 and 2013, had multiple opportunities to take the lead much earlier.

Luciano Rodriguez nearly scored a free kick, Fabricio Diaz attempted a long-range shot, and Anderson Duarte forced Sebastiano Desplanches to make one of the tournament’s best saves for Italy.

Uruguay, who enjoyed a rock-solid defence, having conceded only three goals in the tournament – all against England – backed their forwards heavily to press Italy high up.

Before the commencement of the FIFA U20 World Cup, neither Uruguay nor Italy was among the favourites but unlike Brazil, Argentina and England, they were fortunate enough to face lesser resistance from clubs about releasing players for the tournament.

Notably, it is not mandatory for the clubs to release their contracted players to take part in international youth tournaments.

More than 40,000 people including FIFA president Gianni Infantino watched the enthralling final at the iconic Diego Maradona Stadium here while Uruguay’s Football Association suspended Sunday’s national championship fixtures so fans could watch the final.

Source: A Sports

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