Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Brazil set to defend U-20 title in South America

Posted in International Football, South America Football by peterbein on January 9, 2013

Brazil celebrate winning the 2011 South American U-20 title

The 2013 South American Youth Championship begins today in Argentina in a tournament which will help determine the four nations who will progress to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup later this year.

Eleven times winners Brazil are the defending champions having won the tournament two years ago with a squad which included the likes of Santos superstar Neymar, who finished the 2011 competition as top scorer with nine goals, and Lucas Moura who recently made headlines for signing for Paris Saint Germain for a club record €45m. The champions kick off the defence of their title with a match against Ecuador on Thursday evening in Group B, a group which also contains Peru, 2011 runners-up Uruguay and Venezuela.

Hosts Argentina will begin their tournament with a game against Chile and will hope to make a good start in their quest to improve on their third place finish in 2011. Argentina’s other Group A opponents come in the form of Bolivia, Colombia and Paraguay. There are three places up for grabs in each group before the tournament concludes with a six-team group in which each team plays each other once, the conclusion of this phase will determine the South American youth champions and the three other finalists for the FIFA event which will be held in Turkey in June.

The tournament takes place until February 3rd and will be played in two host cities, Mendoza and San Juan, both of which lie in the west of the country.

CONMEBOL: Brazil take the U-20 title in South America

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on February 13, 2011

Conmebol u-20 logoThis weekend saw the completion of the South American Youth Championship and what a final match the tournament had in prospect as the top two of Uruguay and Brazil fought it out for the crown. Unfortunately, for those anticipating a closely fought contest, it proved to be a one-sided encounter.

The two most successful countries at this level in South America, Brazil and Uruguay were hoping to clinch the title with victory in their head-to-head clash on Saturday night. Both teams were already assured of their places in this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup along with Argentina, Ecuador and Colombia who, despite finishing bottom of the six team group, were guaranteed their place due to their position as tournament hosts. As well as the FIFA U-20 event the top two had also been assured of their places in the 2012 Olympic Games so many observers wanted an open match with both teams going all out for the title.

Seven times Under-20 winners Uruguay were hoping to clinch their first title at this level for thirty years whilst the Brazilians, winners of the previous two tournaments, wanted to clinch a hat-trick and thus a record extending eleventh title overall. The game was deadlocked until five minutes before half-time when São Paulo midfielder Lucas scored twice in as many minutes to take the wind out of Uruguay’s sails. The second half turned into a procession as the ruthless Brazilians struck four more times to stun their opponents. Lucas clinched his hat-trick, Neymar sealed his position as the tournament’s top-scorer by netting twice and Danilo completed the scoring. Neymar’s nine goals in the competition have turned him into the continent’s hot property and there are bound to be many clubs chasing his signature in the coming months.

Brazil topped the final group stage table with twelve points from five matches, two more than Uruguay. Argentina and Ecuador, who also sealed berths at the FIFA U-20 event, ended up with nine and eight points respectively whilst fifth place Chile are the unlucky nation not to qualify for Colombia having finished with three points, two more than the Colombians themselves.

CONMEBOL: Next generation to shine in Peru

Posted in South America Football by peterbein on January 15, 2011

Peru 2011 logoThe South American Youth Championship takes place in Peru from Sunday with ten teams hopeful of grabbing the title along with one of the four available places up for grabs in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup which takes place later in the year. The tournament which brought the likes of Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Alexandre Pato to worldwide acclaim welcomes in a new generation of potential superstars and Stoppage Time – International Football Blog looks back at the history of the event and previews this year’s tournament.

This competition came to life in 1954 and in the tournament’s early days it was neither Brazil nor Argentina who were to be the dominant force but Uruguay. They won the first three tournaments in 1954, 1958 and 1964 before suffering a drought in the next three events from 1967-1974 with Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina all claiming maiden titles. Uruguay then re-established their stronghold winning four successive titles from 1975-81 with all but the first title being won by a group stage format. The 1981 win would signal the end of Uruguay’s dominance as they haven’t won the trophy since. Brazil have been the main power since having won nine of the last 14 tournaments including a run of four successive wins from 1988-95. Argentina’s best period was winning three out of four tournaments between 1997-2003 with Colombia sneaking the 2005 title to finally get their hands on the trophy for a second time. After that Brazil have firmly re-positioned themselves as the dominant force at this level winning the most recent two championships in 2007 and 2009. Five countries – Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela – have yet to win the tournament.

This year’s tournament will be played in one of those five yet to be successful countries, namely Peru, with three stadiums based in the cities of Moquegua, Arequipa and Tacna hosting all of the matches. The first stage of the tournament, to be played from January 16-28, will see ten countries split into two groups of five with the top three in each group going through to the final group stage. All six teams in the final stage (January 31-February 12) will play each other once with the top team winning the tournament and going through to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup along with the teams placed in second, third and fourth. Colombia, as hosts of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, have already qualified for that competition so if they are one of the top four then the team finishing fifth will also go through. Two players to watch for this year include Brazil’s Neymar, a recent target for Chelsea FC who won both the Paulista and Copa do Brasil with his club Santos FC in 2010 and Argentina’s Rogerio Funes Mori who has featured regularly for River Plate in the last two years.

GROUP A (Argentina; Chile; Peru; Uruguay; Venezuela)

GROUP B (Brazil; Bolivia; Colombia; Ecuador; Paraguay)