Uruguay Triumphs in South American Derby

Beats hot favorite Argentina on penalties after dominating final match.

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Argentina was the favorite for the final trophy, with a successful qualification phase and a great playoff run, having defeated Switzerland won 8-1 in the quarterfinal and Italy 10-3 in semifinal. Uruguay, on the other hand, was not one of best teams seen in the first phase and during playoffs.

The South American squad had needed penalties to win three of its matches, beating Israel - one of the top candidates - and Brazil, a real experienced team.

The final was dominated by Uruguay, which had a perfect defense and some real efficient counterattacks with two goals scored in first half - one by Nacho Nuchovich, the team’s top scorer, and one own goal. Uruguay’s Aron Soloducho was a great defender with top-vision when clearing his area,

Argentina demonstrated more organization in the second half, as Amit Tal connected with a precise shot from distance, and Martin Goldman scored on a rebound after a great shot by Diego Mayo, which Uruguay goalkeeper Rotem Gerber failed to clear properly.

Both teams seemed to be exhausted, and both were looking to make it through the penalties.

Amit Tal scored the first one for Argentina, and Soloducho followed for Uruguay. Diego Mayo had an unlucky post, while Pablo Poznazky brought Uruguay the advantage.

Diego Alaluf scored with a terrific strike right under the bar, only to see Nuchevich, Uruguay’s captain, score the match point. The winner, which included Ari Erdman, Diego Kopelman and Rony Mazal, then raised the tournament cup with manager Federico Markovitz.

Argentina had a great Mundial last year, losing in the semifinals against the eventual champion Nigeria, and coming tantalizingly close this year leaves the team hungry for a third crack at the title.

For Roly Terner and his teammates, next year could be the right one to get finally the trophy they deserve. It will be important to hold onto Gil Cohen, who was selected the best goalkeeper by a jury of team captains.

Luca Moresco, Italy’s striker was a runaway selection for MVP. He clearly displayed the best talent of this edition, showing an impressive level of soccer with great skills of a pro.

The next Ghetton competition will be its league, which opens in October 2013.

The victorious Uruguayans with their trophy.Credit: Daniele Di Nepi