Argentina weathered a few early chances from Canada to beat the North Americans 3-0, cementing La Albiceleste’s spot atop Group E of the FIFA U-17 World Cup finals with an entertaining display at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai. The result means both Canada’s and Austria's time at UAE 2013 has come to an end, while Argentina and Iran move on to the Round of 16 from the section.
The first half was a cagey affair with no clear-cut chances for either side until mere seconds before the stroke of half-time. Argentina’s Sebastian Driussi started as active as ever, causing the Canadian rearguard problems and keeping the North Americans on the back foot from the start.
Canada managed to find a few looks on goal early, trying to make good on their pre-game promise of winning a first-ever match at the U-17 finals. But just before the half, Argentina were off to the races with a well-taken goal. Luis Leszczuk made a good run into Canada’s final third and picked out Joaquin Ibanez, who fired a powerful shot past Maro Carducci into the side netting.
The referee ended the half immediately upon the restart, sending the North Americans into the dressing room devastated to have surrendered such an untimely goal.
Argentina picked up right where they left off before the break, doubling their lead less than a minute after the restart. Nicolas Tripichio sent in a deep cross that found an unmarked Matias Sanchez, who headed past Canada’s captain to score his first goal of the tournament.
Jordan Hamilton had a chance to pull one back for Canada in the 70th minute but indecision got the best of the No9, who put his shot straight into Augusto Batalla’s big frame. Sanchez took advantage of the let-off and added a third 15 minutes from time to put the match out of reach. The Argentine midfielder found plenty of time and space and took a chance from nearly 25 yards that curled brilliantly into the top corner.
Canada, who continued to fight but were unable to get on the board, were visibly disappointed after a tough 90 minutes and an upcoming departure from UAE. Argentina will now look ahead to Monday where they begin the knockout stages of the U-17 finals against Tunisia in Dubai.