After the two one-sided defeats to México and Germany, Argentina’s under-17s needed a victory over Australia in their final Group C match to even have a chance of claiming one of the best third placed finishes and qualification for the knockout stages. Despite having this at stake, Miguel Ángel Lemme’s youngsters produced a third consecutive lacklustre performance and were once again punished. Nicholas Panetta scored either side of half time to give Australia a two-goal lead and although captain Tomás Conechny pulled one back from the penalty spot, Los Pibes could not salvage a point, let alone the desired victory. Defeat means Argentina fall at the group stages, just as their under-20 counterparts did in New Zealand, and after failing to even score a goal from open play, it is a damning record for Lemme. With AFA elections lying ahead, major changes are needed in the structure of Argentine youth football if they are to regain their place at the top of the world game.
Argentina 1 – 2 Australia
In Group C’s other match, the impressive Mexican youngsters defeated Germany 2-1 to take top spot as both sides qualify for the next round. Australia with four points will join them as one of the best third placed teams.