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Rediff.com  » Sports » Late goal gives Argentina Under-20 football World Cup

Late goal gives Argentina Under-20 football World Cup

July 23, 2007 10:29 IST

Mauro Zarate grabbed an 86th-minute winner as Argentina triumphed in the world Under-20 championship for the sixth time, coming from behind to beat the Czech Republic 2-1 on Sunday.

After a scrappy first half, the Czechs took the lead on the hour through Martin Fenin's brilliant shot on the turn.

Two minutes later Argentina drew level through striker Sergio Aguero, the tournament's top scorer with six goals, who coolly converted after latching on to a delightful through-ball from playmaker Ever Banega.

The game looked to be heading for extra-time until Zarate cut in from the left and beat Czech keeper Radek Petr at the near post with a fierce shot from the edge of the area.

Argentina have now won five of the last seven editions of the competition and their coach Hugo Tocalli praised the way they fought back.

"Although we were 1-0 down, the confidence that the team has was enough to pull back.

"We worked very hard and we were confident. It was hard work but I knew that we could do it," he said.

Tocalli picked out Aguero and Maximiliano Moralez for praise and predicted a bright future in the game for both. 

"I form players, I mould players. They are both growing in the world of football. They will make the full national team without doubt and they will play at the highest level," he said.

Czech Republic coach Miroslav Soukup said his side had been clear second-best after the break.

"I think we didn't disappoint our fans and it was a very entertaining game and I am happy we played our part.

"Argentina just showed why they are so many times world champions and I think in the second half they outplayed us."

But he said the achievement was the finest that Czech Republic football had achieved since the country's independence in 1993.

"Since Czech Republic became separated from Czechoslovakia this is the biggest and best result in our history," he said.

"We are really happy that we went the furthest of any European team."

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