THE DAY REPLAYED – Brazil claimed their fifth FIFA U-20 World Cup crown on Saturday, beating Portugal after extra time in Bogota, the first time they have won the competition since 2003.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 ended as it began, with rain teeming down in prelude to the match for third place at El Campin in Bogota.
And for the second time in the competition, following on from their fightback in the Round of 16 against Cameroon, Mexico came from behind to beat France and take third place on the podium, El Tri’s best finish in the competition since 1977, when they ended runners-up. Les Bleuets did not go away too disappointed, however, having completed their best ever campaign in the competition, despite conceding 12 goals, the joint-worst defensive record alongside Costa Rica and Guatemala.
The battle for the bronze medal was followed by the tournament showpiece, in which Brazil claimed their fifth title in the category, avenging the penalty shoot-out defeat they suffered against Portugal 20 years ago and erasing the memory of their loss on penalties to Ghana in the Egypt 2009 final.
Match for third place
Mexico 3-1 France
Brazil 3-2 Portugal (aet)
Goal of the day
Brazil-Portugal, Oscar (111)
Completing an outstanding display and a superlative hat-trick, Oscar collected the ball wide on the right and sent it looping over Mika and into the back of the net, settling a dramatic final in spectacular style.
Déjà vu: Ulises Davila’s equaliser for Mexico against France was a carbon copy of the goal El Tri keeper Jose Rodriguez conceded in the quarter-finals against Colombia, a speculative shot from long distance slipping between Jonathan Ligali’s legs and over the line. Mexico’s third goal of the day, a powering Edson Rivera header from a Davila corner, was also a repeat of their third goal in that last-eight win over the host nation.
Portuguese motivation: Portugal captain Nuno Reis urged his team-mates on in unique style before the final kicked off. After shaking the hands of the Brazilian players, the Cercle Brugge player took up position behind them and proceeded to shake the hands of each and every member of his team, a bonding exercise that looked to have paid dividends until the South Americans edged the contest in extra time.
Mika falls short: The Portuguese keeper came within 19 minutes of eclipsing the tournament record of 634 minutes without conceding a goal, set by Brazil between 1985 and 1987. Oscar’s deflected fifth-minute opener in Bogota was the fastest goal in a FIFA U-20 World Cup final since Barkero put Spain on the road to victory against Japan at Nigeria 1999.
5 - The number of goals scored in Saturday’s final between Brazil and Portugal, the highest tally ever in a FIFA U-20 World Cup final one more than the previous highest number scored in the competition showpiece (at Tunisia 1977, Japan 1979, Australia 1981 and Nigeria 1999). Five is also the number of FIFA U-20 world titles A Seleçao have now won, one behind the tournament’s most successful nation, Argentina.
The next FIFA U-20 World Cup will take place in Turkey in 2013, while the next FIFA competition on the horizon is the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, which begins in Ravenna, Italy, on 1 September.