Uruguay managed to reach the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, sixteen years after they were runners-up in 1997, after beating Iraq on Wednesday in a penalty shootout (7-6 after 1-1). They will face France for the title.
Uruguay almost lost in regulation time but a goal from Gonzalo Bueno in the 87th minute forced the game to extra time. Iraq had taken the lead in the 34th minute thanks to a free kick goal by Ali Adnan.
In the shoot-out, Gianni Rodriguez missed the first Uruguay shot but Ali Faez sent his shot into the post. The two teams made the rest of their shots until the eighth round where Iraqi Saif Salman sent his shot high.
South America, which has won eleven titles from the previous eighteen, will be in the final of the tournament for the seventh consecutive year, starting from Nigeria in 1999.
Everything seemed to favor Uruguay but after eliminating the favorite Spain in the quarterfinals (1-0), John Verzeri's boys had a hard time getting past Iraq.
It has been 14 years since Uruguay has been in a U-20 semifinal, then with a young Diego Forlan, where they lost to Japan.
Iraq, who was in the semifinals of a World Cup for the first time, will face Ghana for third place.