France, Uruguay ready to battle for U-20 title
146 goals were produced throughout Turkey’s time hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013, scored by 96 different football players.
The 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup comes to an end as France and Uruguay will face off at the Ali Sami Yen Arena in Istanbul on Juy 13 in a match-up that few would have predicted before the start of the competition.
The two teams will play for the top prize at 9 p.m., three hours after Iraq and Ghana kick off for the third-place playoff, also in the same stadium.
France booked their place in the final after making their finishing count against a plucky Ghana side, while Uruguay came within three minutes of defeat in normal time before finally seeing off surprise packages Iraq on penalties.
While the French have always figured among the tournament favorites, the same cannot be said of the Uruguayans, who nevertheless boast more experience at this stage of the competition, having reached the final in 1997, when they needed extra time to get past Ghana. In contrast, this weekend’s showpiece will be a whole new experience for Les Bleuets. On top of that, five members of Juan Verzeri’s Celeste squad also figured in the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011.
The Chairman of the Organising Committee Jim Boyce praised the level of the competition so far.
“We’ve seen some fantastic games. There’s been some really exciting football, last-minute goals, penalty shootouts,” he said at a press conference in Istanbul. “I think those involved with the teams have encouraged the players to entertain the fans, play football and football has been the winner. The football quality has been tremendous.”
Boyce also praised the fact that the top four teams came from four different confederations.
“The nice thing is we have four teams from four different confederations and I think we are going to see two tremendous games,” he said. “I think this shows how football is developing, particularly at younger levels.”
96 players, 146 goals in Turkey
Apart from which team will win the trophy, the winner of the Golden Boot will be on focus as well, with several players still in the running for the top goal scorer award.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup 2013 in Turkey have produced exactly 149 goals, scored by a total of 96 different players.
In the current contest, three players are level at the top of the goalscoring chart on five goals. Portugal’s new attacking jewel Bruma is currently in first place because he only required 360 minutes on the field for his five goals. He is followed by Spain’s Jese (429 minutes) and Ghana’s Ebenezer Assifuah (496 minutes). However, the west African has a clear edge in the betting, because in contrast to the other two, his team are still in the tournament, with the Black Satellites primed to take on Iraq in the match for third place.