One day after suffering defeat to India in their final group game Argentina Under-20s sealed a place in the COTIF final after battling to a goalless draw against Uruguay and eventually claiming victory in the penalty shootout.
Despite Lionel Scaloni making several changes to the side that lost 24 hours earlier and selecting his first choice eleven, Argentina started slowly and it was only some fine goalkeeping by Estudiantes youngster Jerónimo Pourtau that kept Uruguay out.
The task was made all the more difficult when Andrés Ayala was shown a second yellow card after half an hour but somehow the score remained level at the break.
Argentina almost opened the scoring soon after the restart when Gonzalo Maroni hit the foot of the post with a free-kick but from there on La Albiceleste were forced to simply hold on.
They did that and the game went to penalties, where both sides endeavoured to lose with some dreadful efforts.
Captain Agustín Almendra missed first but was saved by Pourtau, Elías Pereyra then missed but so too did Uruguay and it wasn’t until Boca defender Leonardo Balerdi squeezed in the third that there was a goal. Alan Marinelli scored the fourth and as Uruguay missed again it was left to Inter striker Facundo Colidio to roll in the winner.
Argentina have been far from impressive so far in L’Alcúdia but play Russia on Wednesday for the chance to lift the trophy.
Argentina: Pourtau; Mura, Balerdi, Ávila, Pereyra; Ayala, Almendra, Moreno (Rosales 79′), Barreal (Marinelli 70′), Maroni (Colidio 79′); Gaich (Colombo 41′)