Ecuador have made history by winning the U-20 South American Championship for the first time. The team will lead the region’s four representatives to the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 in May.
Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia are the other South American nations joining Ecuador, while Brazil, five-time world challmpions in the age group, miss out for the second time in a row.
After performing well in the first phase, Venezuela lost momentum in the final six-team round robin and finished bottom, missing out on the chance to go one better than the runners-up slot they achieved at Korea Republic 2017.
Trained by the Argentinian Jorge Celico, Ecuador were the most consistent side in Chile. Group winners in the first phase, they collected 19 points out of a possible 27 overall (more than any other side) and also top scored with 14 goals, an average of 1.55 per match.
Though they lost twice to Uruguay, who scored four of the six goals the Ecuadorians conceded, Celico’s men won their three matches against the other two sides who will be joining them in Poland.
Goalkeeper Moises Ramirez excelled, as did Gonzalo Plata and Leonardo Campana, the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals.
Courtesy of FIFA