U20 South American Championships: Stick A Fork In It, It’s Done

It is actually not done.  As I am writing, it is the 70th minute of the final match: Uruguay v. Brazil.  But I don’t need for it to end to know what the result will be: Brazil has won the match and the tournament.  Brazil has won by a lot.  The loss to Argentina was a fluke.  At this moment, Brazil is up 5-0.

Poor Chile is the goat.  Ecuador beat them 1-0, which means that the young Chileans will watch while all their final group opponents will compete at the World Youth Cup.  It’s a bit unfair because Chile actually performed better than Colombia who got a total of one draw and four losses in the entire group, but those are the perks of hosting the tournament.

Probably even more bitter than the Chileans are the Argentinians who came in third and thus are out of the Olympics, the only tournament where they have accomplished anything in the past 17 years (aside from youth tournaments, which count less than the Olympics.)  They needed Uruguay to win by 5 goals.  Brazil, in the 80th minute, just scored a sixth goal to Uruguay’s none.   What a nightmare for the Celeste (although at least they made it to the Olympics this time.)  Neymar scored two, bringing his tournament total to nine goals.  Like I said before, he won the Golden Boot, after his first match (in that first match he scored as many as the next highest goalscorer in the tournament.)  His teammate Lucas, another Barcelona prospect, scored a hat trick.  The Brazilians must really hate Uruguay.  There was no mercy tonight.

I don’t know how Brazil lost to Argentina; they are clearly the superior side of this tournament and the continent.  When they turned it on, like against Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile, they left all competition in the dust.  This is something like the 11th of these championships that Brazil have won.  Brazil just produces bigger, stronger, and faster youth players than the rest of the continent; it’s kind of surprising that the senior side has been so hit-and-miss of late.

It will be interesting to see if Brazil can finally win the Olympics (I’m betting not.)  But for me, I am more interested to see how they perform at the World Youth Cup.  The rest of the world is not really scared of Brazil anymore, and it will be fascinating how the skill of the Europeans matches up against the power of the Brazilians.  (I never thought I would ever write that sentence.)  Two years ago, Ghana beat Brazil in the finals.  I am sure they would love to do it again.

The match just ended.  Uruguay’s misery is over; Brazil has definitively won.  No Maracanazo this time.  It was indeed the Neymar Tournament.


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