Cree en grande.

France is champion of the U-20 World Cup. Uruguay says goodbye with dignity and a bright future

France is champion of the U-20 World Cup. Uruguay says goodbye with dignity and a bright future

Uruguay was again at the gates of glory at the Under-20 WC but ended up reliving what happened sixteen years ago in Malaysia where they lost the final against Argentina (2-1).

Uruguay was also the runner-up at the last U-17 World Cup, where they again finished second being beaten in the decisive match by the Mexican hosts (2-0) with seven of the players of the current U-20 squad.

Never before had France been in the final of the FIFA U-20 and now they have won their first. This is the seventh title for a European team in this competition and the first in fourteen years since Spain won in Nigeria in 1999. South America, with six titles for Argentina and five for Brazil, continues to have the record with eleven.

In the first half the battle between the two contenders was very even. The first twenty minutes was a feeling out period where both tried timidly from outside the area, Nico Lopez (5) and Sebastian Cristoforo (17) for Uruguay, and Pogba (9) for the French.

Lopez (19) had the best chance of the first 45 minutes when he stole a bad pass played by Mouhamadou Sarr and let go of a shot, but the goalkeeper Alphonse Areola managed to punch the ball away.

Florian Thauvin (26) meanwhile had a good scoring opportunity but his shot was blocked by Emiliano Velázquez. Gianni Rodriguez in the 39th minute also came up big has he blocked a dangerous shot by Yaya Sanogo.

Uruguay almost went into the break with the lead. First a shot that went high by Lopez (42), then with Leonardo Pais (44) who couldn't get his shot away has he was marked well by Dimitri Fouquier and finally with Felipe Avenatti (45) who came close to scoring.

In the second half the tension continued to grip both teams, but it was Uruguay who came with more bite.

Lopez again was dangerous first with a shot blocked wide in the 57th and especially in the 66th in a counterattack where he was initially alone, but the French central defenders managed to regain their positions and the Roma striker ended up shooting wide.

Avenatti, the hero of the quarterfinals against Spain, had the goal at his boots at the 80 minute mark but the keeper stopped the one on one shot.

José Giménez was injured and had to be replaced by Guillermo Varela at the 84 minute mark. France got a couple glorious chances through Veretout Jordan (85) and Alexy Bosetti (87), but De Amores again came up big.

At the start of extra time, De Arrascaeta (96 and 104) had the will but didn't have the aim. Uruguay suffered their second loss in defense when Gianni Rodriguez went down and was replaced by Lucas Olaza. France also had to change as Digne went off injured.  

The score remained deadlocked at zero at the end of extra time and in the decisive shootout goalkeeper Areola , the third-stringer for Paris Saint-Germain, was the great hero by stopping Velázquez and De Arrascaeta, leaving in tears the Uruguayans.