2013 U-20 World Cup - Turkey
Under the leadership of Juan Verzeri, who had already qualified Uruguay for the U-20 in Colombia in 2011, the unbeaten 'Celeste' concluded the first phase of the South American tournament undefeated, although they came in second behind Peru in their group. In the final phase Uruguay conceded just three goals in five games, but they did not secure their place in the World Cup until the last round where they beat the already eliminated Ecuador (1-0). In addition to coming in third place the 'charrúas' were awarded the Fair Play trophy and attacker Nicolás López was the top scorer of the tournament with six goals. Uruguay's best performance in a World Cup dates back to 1997, when they lost in the finals to Argentina.
Chile had a perfect run in the first phase of the Sudamericano with four wins in a row against Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Paraguay. Its performance dwindled considerably in the final round, so much so that recently they finally booked their place in the WC on the last day with a 1-1 draw against Peru, who they fought for that final spot spot in Turkey. In the hands of talented players like Ignacio Cuevas and Bryan Rabello, Chile was the only team to beat, and two times no less, the champions Colombia. Their best performance to date was in Canada 2007, when, led by Alexis Sánchez, Arturo Vidal and Gary Medel they finished third. This was their last participation until Turkey 2013, which will be their sixth under-20 WC.
Their best performance in a WC was UAE 2003, where they came in third under the leadership of Luis Rueda. Turkey 2013 will be their eighth appearance in a WC. Under the tutelage of coach Carlos Restrepo, Colombia will come to Turkey as champion of South American. The team, however, was irregular during the first phase of qualifying, finishing second on six points behind Chile in Group A. But Colombia showed their best side in the hexagonal final, assuring their ticket to the World Cup after winning their first three games. Behind a great performance from Juan Quintero the Colombians raised their third regional trophy after beating Paraguay on the final day.
Their best performance to date was Argentina 2001, where they placed fourth after falling consecutively to Argentina in the semifinals and with Egypt in the consolation final. Paraguay had an irregular first phase in the qualifying tournament, so much so that they qualified for the hexagonal final on the final day after thrashing Bolivia (5-1) thus putting Argentina in fourth place. When it mattered most however, Víctor Ginés's team showed their best football ensuring a ticket to Turkey. The 'Albirroja' even came into the final round leading the tournament but the loss to Colombia (1-2) cost them the title that they haven't won since 1971. With a balanced team, owner of a proven offensive power, they seek to be a rival that others fear in Turkey.