One year ago Lionel Scaloni led Argentina under-20s to the COTIF title in L’Alcúdia and while the preparation this time round has been equally chaotic, La Albiceleste kicked off the tournament in a similar fashion with a 4-1 win over Mauritania.
With much of Argentina’s under-20s either at the Pan-American games or held back by clubs with the season already underway, coach Esteban Solari named an under-18 squad for the annual COTIF tournament but they still proved too much for their African rivals.
The impressive Pablo Solari expertly volleyed Argentina in front midway through the first half and the Talleres forward would win the penalty that allowed Argentinos Juniors’ Matko Miljevic to double the lead.
Argentina were dominant and should have been further ahead but needed to wait until just after the break when Francisco González broke down the right and cut the ball back for Boca Juniors striker Brandon Cortés to bundle in a third from close range.
Mohamed Yahya pulled a goal back for Mauritania and yet there was still time for Ezequiel Navarro of Huracán to tap in a fourth from Argentina.
La Albiceleste play Spain on Friday in their second group game.
Argentina: Joaquín Blázquez; Pablo Aranda (Enzo Fernández 72′), Damián Fernández (Imanol Segovia 72′), Franco Ortellado (Navarro ’72), Alejo Tabárez (Felipe Di Lena 53′); Iván Alvariño (Franco Ibarra 41′), Alan Varela (Santiago Pierotti 53′), Matko Miljevic (Favio Cabral 72′); Pablo Solari (Lautaro Chávez ’41), Florián Monzón (Brandon Cortés 41′), Francisco González (Maximiliano Zalazar 53′)
Resumen del partido de anoche entre @Argentina (4) y Mauritania (1) ⚽️
📽 @Cotif pic.twitter.com/qqhD8L5inL
— Selección Argentina 🇦🇷 (@Argentina) August 1, 2019
#Sub18 ¡Confirmados los 22 futbolistas que vestirán la camiseta de @Argentina en el @Cotif L’Alcúdia! 🏆
📝 Ellos son los jugadores elegidos por el cuerpo técnico conducido por Esteban Solari 💪 pic.twitter.com/p4Il9INTD3
— Selección Argentina 🇦🇷 (@Argentina) July 24, 2019