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SPORTS | 07-02-2020 20:37

Young Argentine footballers seek to shine in the Olympics

Argentina’s men Under-23 football team achieved on Friday the double objective of the Pre-Olympic: to beat Colombia and qualify to Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

With an unstoppable performance, the Argentine Under 23 football team achieved on Friday, with a date of anticipation, the double objective of the Pre-Olympic: they beat the local Colombia 2-1 to become champions and to assure their qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In the city of Bucaramanga, in front of a stadium full of "cafeteros" fans, the Albiceleste team coached by Fernando Batista scored a historic win.

A superb goal by Agustin Urzi, with a left-footed shot from 30 metres that went into the corner four minutes into the second half, and a header by captain Nehuén Pérez 120 seconds later, gave the Albiceleste the victory.

However, there was also time for misery, as Edwuin Cetré discounted a penalty and Urzi was immediately shown the red for a childish, off-the-ball attack on an opponent.

The Albiceleste ended a run of six consecutive wins to win the title and the first of two tickets to Tokyo 2020.

Consequently, the men's football is the tenth team classified to the Olympic Games, after the men's equestrian, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, cycling, rugby and handball.

In the ‘Alfonso López’ stadium, in the first round, Brazil and Uruguay tied 1-1 and left everything to be sealed by Argentina.

Now, the Albiceleste will play on Sunday against Brazil, who needs to add with obligation to have chances to go to the Olympic Games.

Argentina will have its ninth Olympic participation as in Amsterdam 1928 (silver medal), Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, Seoul 1988, Atlanta 1996 (silver medal), Athens 2004 (gold medal), Beijing 2008 (gold medal) and Rio 2016.

The procedure of the game was changeable, because Argentina, who had beaten Colombia in their debut, could not make an entrance, suffered the skill of Jorge Carrascal and had no depth.

Beyond the fact that the referee did not sanction a penalty in favour of Colombia by a hand of Claudio Bravo, Argentina waited its moment.

And it was as soon as the complement started, when Bravo himself anticipated, the ball was left to Urzi who went ahead a few meters and put a tremendous left foot that was nailed in the left angle of the Colombian goal.

The goal made Argentina grow and hit Colombia, who two minutes later left Perez unmarked in a corner, who headed home to make it 2-0.

Nonetheless, there would be time to suffer after Hernán De La Fuente's childish penalty, which was converted by Edwin Cetré with 25 minutes remaining on the clock.

To make matters worse, Urzi could not control his impulses and had himself expelled by attacking with a kick without ball to Willer Ditta.

Batista's team had to rely on Cambeses' saves and the miracle of two Colombians who bothered to push in a header.

Argentina celebrated the end of a difficult process, where several clubs refused to give up their players, and had to readjust as they went along.

- TIMES/NA

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