Argentina wins its fifth title and an Olympic berth by winning the 2015 Men’s South American Youth Championship held from January 14th to February 7th 2015. Despite this being a U20 tournament it was the South American qualifier to the Olympics (a U23 tournament). The tournament was also a qualifier to the Men’s U20 World Cup and the 2015 Pan American Games where in a bit of a twist teams ranked third to sixth qualified. The format for the tournament included a first stage round robin of five teams in two groups where the top 3 advance to the final stage round robin to determine the rankings.
The six teams to reach the final stage were Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Argentina took control of the group early on and had developed a record of 3 wins and 1 draw (10 points) going in to the final match. However, the only team that could stop Argentina from directly qualifying to the Olympics was their final opponent, Uruguay whom was also undefeated in the final stage (2 wins, 2 draws, 8 points). Uruguay took an early lead with a goal from Gaston Pereiro at the seventh minute, but Argentina was able to tie the match 10 minutes before half-time with a goal from Sebastian Driussi. The match remained a stalemate until the 80th minute where Angel Correa broke the tie which ended up being the game winner as Argentina won 2-1.
Sadly the loss to Uruguay not only prevented them from directly qualifying to the Olympics, but along with Colombia’s 3-0 win over Brazil in their final game also prevented them from qualifying to a play-off match against the third ranked CONCACAF team. By finishing second in the group Colombia will have a second chance in 2016 to qualify to the Olympics. Argentina’s Giovanni Simeone won the golden boot by scoring 9 goals and Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay all qualify to the Men’s U20 World Cup while Brazil, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay qualify to the 2015 Pan American Games by finishing third to sixth.
- CONMEBOL. Sudamericano Masculino Sub 20. Access on March 7 2015.