- Amaral scores stunning free-kick as Uruguay open with win against Italy
- Uruguay captain Nicolas de la Cruz had his penalty saved in first half
- VAR used in awarding de la Cruz's spot-kick
Substitute Rodrigo Amaral scored a stunning free-kick to help Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 in their Group D opening match at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017.
Uruguay enjoyed more possession in the first half, while Italy looked for counter-attacks, relying on Andrea Favilli to produce chances up front. With two minutes left in the half, Joaquin Ardaiz was fouled in the penalty area when attempting a close-range shot and, after referee Walter Lopez consulted the VAR (video assistant referee), he pointed to the spot.
Captain Nicolas de la Cruz took the responsibility and, as had happened in the first match of the South American U-20 Championship, he failed to convert his spot-kick as Andrea Zaccagno made a comfortable save.
Substitute Amaral came to his captain's and Uruguay's rescue, though. In the 76th minute, the No10 hammered in a thunderbolt of a free-kick from the corner of the penalty area into the top corner which proved to be the decisive strike.