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FIFA U-20 World Cup

Gritty Argentina outlast Portugal to advance

(FIFA.com)

An unyielding defence coupled with timely finishing saw Argentina defeat Portugal 2-0 at the Bielsko-Biala Stadium on Tuesday to book La Albiceleste's spot in the last 16 at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019.

The two teams were even in the first half, with Argentina's goal perhaps coming slightly against the run of play. In the 33rd minute, Ezequiel Barco played Julian Alvarez through down the right edge of the penalty area. Alvarez outmuscled his defender and squared the ball for Adolfo Gaich, who tapped into the far corner, the ball clipping the post on its way in.

For the first 25 minutes of the second half it looked as if Portugal would equalise. The danger man was Jota; in the 64th minute he rifled a shot from the left side and Manuel Roffo did well to palm the ball away. Then Jota won a free-kick 22 yards out which Gedson narrowly struck wide in the 73rd minute.

After that Portugal wore down while Argentina gained confidence, and captain Patricio Perez converted Barco’s 84th minute free-kick from the left to give La Albiceleste the cushion they needed.

Argentina, who are joint leading scorers at Poland 2019 alongside New Zealand, will go into their final group stage match against Korea Republic as group leaders.

See also

Poland 2019: Group standings

Next up (Friday)

Korea Republic-Argentina (20:30 local time)
South Africa-Portugal (20:30 local time)