Adolfo Gaich fires Argentina past Uruguay & into Panamerican Games final (VIDEO)

Just as Argentina’s women did 24 hours earlier, Fernando Batista’s under-23s booked their place in the Panamerican Games Final with an emphatic 3-0 win over Uruguay.

Not much was expected from Batista’s group with so many players made unavailable prior to the tournament but led by the inspirational Adolfo Gaich, Argentina will be playing for the gold medal on Saturday.

With four goals in the three games leading up to Thursday’s semi-final, Gaich was in irresistible form and it took only six minutes for the San Lorenzo striker to add another. Uruguay hadn’t conceded a goal in topping their group but when Marcelo Herrera’s deflected cross fell in behind the centre backs, it was Gaich who reacted quickest to poke the ball past Santiago Mele.

With the game opening up, Argentina’s attacking quartet of Gaich, Valenzuela, Nicolás González and Agustín Urzi combined leading to a shot by Gaich striking the arm of Uruguay captain Bruno Mendez. Carlos Valenzuela, one of the revelations of the tournament, stepped up and with the utmost confidence produced a panenka to double the lead.

Things only got worse for Uruguay soon after when Emanuel Gularte was sent off for a foul on Gaich and Argentina knew they would never have a better opportunity.

Comfortable from there on, Argentina added a third late on with Gaich rifling in a simple rebound, his sixth of the campaign.

Honduras stand in between Argentina and Panamerican gold on Saturday and if the women are successful on Friday, it could be a double celebration for La Albiceleste.

Argentina’s men have been crowned Panamerican champions six times but not since Maxi López starred in 2003 have they added to that tally. Honduras only won once in the group stage and upset Mexico on penalties in the other semi-final so Argentina will be favourites.

Argentina: Facundo Cambeses; Marcelo Herrera, Facundo Medina, Joaquín Novillo, Aaron Barquett; Fausto Vera, Santiago Colombatto (Lucas Necul 91′); Carlos Valenzuela (Aníbal Moreno 87′), Nicolás González, Agustín Urzi; Adolfo Gaich (Sebastián Lomonaco 89′)

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