South America’s dominance continued through the group stage.
Brazil and Colombia fell to Israel and Italy, respectively, in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at the Estadio San Juan del Vicentenario in San Juan, Argentina, on Thursday (June 4).
South American dominance began to falter in the round of 16, with Ecuador falling to South Korea and Argentina to Nigeria, and now with Brazil and Colombia in the quarterfinals, only Uruguay remains.
The truth is, the five South American teams have done very well in this tournament. Compared to other continents, South America was the only one where all of them made it through the group stage.
In Group A, the hosts, Argentina, made it to the round of 16 with a perfect 3-0 record. However, they crumbled in the round of 16, losing 0-2 on a counterattack by the Flying Eagles of Nigeria. Ecuador finished second in Group B behind the United States and made it to the Round of 16, but fell short of the quarterfinals after a hard-fought 2-3 loss to South Korea.
Colombia in Group C and Brazil in Group D also had strong group stage performances, reaching the round of 16 and the quarterfinals, respectively, before falling victim to European powers like Italy and Israel and suffering early (?) exits.
As mentioned earlier, Uruguay is the only team left from South America. They finished second in Group E and made it to the round of 16, where they quelled a Gambian upset with a 1-0 victory to advance to the quarterfinals. It’s the last bit of South American pride.
But their opponent is the United States. They won all three of their matches in Group B, conceding six goals, and reached the round of 16 with a 4-0 demolition 안전놀이터 of wildcard New Zealand. The United States has had a tremendous run in the tournament, winning four games and conceding 10 goals in four matches.
Of course, given the nature of the tournament, upsets can happen at any time. However, the U.S. has been one of the most dominant teams in the tournament, so much so that Uruguay’s chances of winning are greatly diminished, which means we could see a South American annihilation in the quarterfinals.
If Uruguay were to lose to the United States in the quarterfinals, it would be the first time in 42 years that a South American team has failed to reach the last four since 1981. At the 1981 tournament in Australia, Brazil and Uruguay lost to Qatar and Romania, respectively.
Once so dominant that three of the four finalists were from South America, they now have to worry about not having a single team in 42 years. Europe, on the other hand, already has two teams in the final four. Asia and Africa are also guaranteed a spot in the final four. It’s a sea change.