Monday, 2 July 2007

U-20 World Cup Roundup

The U-20 World Cup (formerly known as the World Youth Championship), kicked off in Canada on Saturday. The tournament is always heavily watched by scouts from European clubs looking for the next young talent to emerge on the World stage.

There are seven Latin American teams taking part in the tournament, with Argentina, Brazil and Mexico among the favourites to win the competition. However, the results so far have been average for the Latin American contigent.

Argentina kicked off the tournament with a goalless draw against the Czech Republic. Despite dominating for large periods of the game, Argentina just couldn't force a goal and could easily have lost the game but for a goal line clearance in the closing minutes. With Boca's young schemer Ever Banega in midfield and Mauro Zarate and Sergio Aguero up front, the Argentines will surely pick up form as the tournament progresses.

The other game in Argentina's group also ended in a goalless draw, with Panama surviving an almost constant onslaught from DPR Korea thanks to a heroic goalkeeping performance from Luis Mejia.

Brazil opened their campaign with a disappointing 1-0 loss to the ten men of Poland. They will be thankful that the other game in their group ended in a draw, which still leaves them with a good opportunity to progress to the knockout stages if they can improve in time for their next game tomorrow.

Chile are currently the Latin American top dogs, defeating Canada 3-0 in their opening game thanks to goals from Nicolas Medina, Carlos Carmona and Jaime Grondona. They were never really troubled by the hosts and look like they could be a good outside bet for the tournament.

Uruguay drew 2-2 with Spain despite goals from Palermo striker Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez giving them a 2-0 lead in the second half.

Costa Rica lost 1-0 to Nigeria in an end to end game where either side could have been victorious.

Finally, Mexico start their campaign tonight against Gambia in Toronto. With start players Carlos Vela of Arsenal and Giovanni Dos Santos of Barcelona, Mexico are heavily fancied for the tournament and will be looking to get off to a winning start.

If you want to watch the U-20 World Cup, Eurosport are covering the tournament, with most games being shown live. Live Sport On TV offers a schedule of upcoming games here, which is useful to find start times, etc.

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