under 21, being 23...I did not know that.
Basically, the U21s are all under 21 at the start of that qualifying campaign (with the cut off date). But as the qualifying takes place over 2years, players can actually be 23 by the time the tournament takes place.
The idea is to allow the same group of players to qualify and then play in the tournament, though obviously they could just change the date so that they are U21 at the end of the tournament season, and just start the qualifying using nobody older than 19
Well, Canada is going CRAZY for the soccer (or at least they are in Toronto). Tried to get tickets to the games tonight - sold out - as are most of the games. I'd try for scalped tickets tonight, but with Portugal and Mexico, I fear they will be expensive!
All the games are being shown here in Canada as well, on 4 different stations, though 2 are digital TV stations only and thus not available to most people. But even without digital cable, there's lots of games on.
I'd just like to see Canada get a point...
I Just watched the brief highlights of USA vs Poland
my goodness.. Zizzo + Adu! Am i the only one thinking they may win it? Especially after beating Brazil 2-0??
Well, the round robin has come to an end, and the elimination matches now begin. Sadly, host country Canada couldn't manage a goal in their 3 games, so they are eliminated. But the beat goes on.
The schedule is as such:
Austria plays Gambia, the winner will play the winner of USA and Uraguay. Spain plays Brazil, the winner going on to play either Japan or the Czechs. The winner of those matches will play each other to get to the final round.
On the other side of the bracket, Chile plays Portugal and Zambia plays Nigeria, the winner of those matches will face each other. Argentina and Poland face off, and the winner goes on to play the winner of Mexico and the Congo. The winner of those matches will move on to the final.
All 4 teams from Africa moved on to the next round!
A couple good matches this week in Toronto. 11 July @ 19:45 is USA v. Uruguay and then 12 July @ 16:45 Argentina v. Poland. Maybe I'll be able to snag a couple of tickets this week.
The final four is set. Chile faces Argentina in one semi, and Austria faces the Czechs in the other semi. Guaranteed South America-Europe final.
3 of the 4 games on the weekend went to extra time to settle, only the Argentinians able to take down their competition (the Mexicans) in regular time. The Czechs - Spain tilt went to penalty kicks.
Chile - Nigeria was a bit of a disappointment to watch, actually. The games was 0-0 going into extra time. Chile scored in the 96' minute, which forced Nigeria to pull all their men forward to try and equal, and Chile got open break after open break past the defenders, who were playing so far up, that the game ended 4-0. It was a good game, but sad to see Nigeria get beat time and time again in the extra time after in the regular time.
TV coverage here in Canada has been very good, and even Saturday night in the sports bar I was in, with Toronto Blue Jays baseball and CFL (Canadian football) on, the FIFA U-20 was featured.
Sadly, getting tickets could be an issue for me. Unlike some of the other venues in Canada, which are baseball or Canadian football stadiums that hold 40,000+ people, the games in Toronto are being played at the National Soccer stadium, which only holds 20,000, and thus tickets are at a premium here. Looks like I'll have to watch the games on the TV.
So THAT'S why people were driving all around town waving the Chilean flag yesterday.
The senior team didnt manage to be the champion of Copa America. Hopefully the juniors will cover up for them. VAMOS ARGENTINA!!!
It's Argentina vs. Czechs in the final on Sunday. Interestingly, the final two teams both started from Group E. They played each other back at the start of the tournament to a 0:0 draw. Should be an interesting match on Sunday.
Also, even though they didn't win, Chilean goalkeeper Cristopher Toselli set a record of scoreless minutes, allowing his first goal of the tournament 12' into the game, meaning he had gone 492 scoreless minutes prior to that.
In other strange Chile news, all 21 players on the team were detained by police last night after the game. "There was an incident between the Chilean players and the police in front of the stadium, which is currently being investigated by all the parties involved. The 21 players were detained and later released," said John Schumacher, FIFA's spokesperson at the tournament.
Well, this thread isn't getting much action, so I don't know if I am the only one paying attention any more, but thought I'd close it out now...
The final two games were played on Sunday in Toronto, Chile vs. Austria for third place and Argentina vs. Czech Republic for the first place trophy. Figuring that this is probably as close as Canada is ever going to get to hosting a World Cup, I wandered down to the stadium and picked up a ticket.
There had been quite a lot of coverage of the Toronto Police - Chilean Under 20 Team altercation that occured after the game on Thursday, with the Toronto Police calling their actions "firm but fair" and the Chilean's calling it police brutality. Many Chilean politicians were demanding apologies, and Canadian politicians are requesting investigations. There was some talk about perhaps the Chilean team not coming to play on Sunday in the third place game, but they announced they would come out to play.
Upon arrival at the stadium, there was a large protest outside against the Toronto police by Chilean fans. Probably a good 75 to 100 people surrounding a large Chilean flags, many of them holding signs. The protest was peaceful, and the police kept their distance.
The stadium was mostly filled with South American fans - Chileans for the first game, most of whom left and apparently gave their tickets to Argentinian fans for the second game. There were very few Austrian or Czech fans in the crowd, and they mostly got drowned out by the larger Latin American contingent. The Chileans had the best cheers - lots of variation. The Argentinians had most drummers, though.
I missed the first 50 minutes of the third place game, so I missed the only goal. Chile scored, and ended up winning the game 1 to 0 to beat the Austrians and win the third place trophy. The Chilean fans had a scare near the end, but some fine goal keeping saw their goalie (who I previously mentioned had the record for most minutes without a goal) knocking a ball out of the net just before it crossed the goal line as he was falling backwards. It was a spectular save.
In the second game, the Czechs scored first, but Argentina answered quickly and got another goal and went on to win 2 - 1. Argentina had the top scorer of the tournament, Sergio Aguero with six goals, won the golden boot for the top scorer, the golden ball as the MVP, was captain of the team so first to put his hands on the trophy and gets to wear the number 10!
Other than the Chile - Police dust up, the tournament seems to have been a great success - establishing a new record for the highest total attendance in FIFA Under-20 World Cup history, finishing at 1,195,239. The previous record of 1,155,160 was set in Mexico 24 years ago. Including Sunday's final two games, 31 of the tournament's 52 matches were sold out.
Anyway, if anyone is still reading, here's some pictures:
FIFA U20 World Cup snaps on Travellerspoint, and more pictures up at Flickr.
Thanks for the information in this thread guys..Not much news about this Under 20 world cup on tv or the papers.