After consecutive defeats to England and South Korea, Argentina’s hopes of reaching the under-20 World Cup last 16 hung in the balance and even after an emphatic 5-0 win over Guinea in Seogwipo they still do.
With Racing striker Lautaro Martínez available again after suspension and plenty of goals needed, Claudio Ubeda selected a strong, attacking lineup for the final group match and after dominating the opening stages, Marcelo Torres finally provided the breakthrough. Santiago Colombatto’s low cross, tidily slotted into the bottom corner by the Boca Juniors forward.
More goals were needed and just before the break, Martínez gave a reminder of just how much of a miss he has been with a terrific turn and shot into the top corner from outside the penalty area.
Guinea were dreadful and after half time, Argentina continued to stream forward. Matias Zaracho nodded a third from close range, central defender Marcos Senesi powerfully headed a fourth and Martínez drilled in his second of the game to complete the rout.
The result leaves La Albiceleste on only three points and so nervously waiting the results over the next couple of days to see if they have secured a place in the last 16 by virtue of being one of the four best third-placed sides.
In order for this to happen two of the following results must happen – Zambia must avoid to Costa Rica in Group C, Honduras must avoid defeat to Vietnam in Group E and USA must beat Saudi Arabia in Group F. On Sunday, Los Pibes will know if they are coming home or not.