ALAN VACCARO / AIPS in RAS AL-KHAIMAH*: The runners-up from last U-17 World Cup launched their 2013 campaign with a superb performance in Group B by defeating New Zealand 7-0.
It was a Uruguayan monologue in Ras Al-Khaimah Stadium. From the very first minute the superiority of coach Fabian Coito’s team was clear as Kevin Mendez opened the score with a volley in the third. Uruguay pressed effectively all over the pitch and overwhelmed New Zealand, who never found a way to penetrate the Celeste defence.
With control of the ball in midfield, Uruguay created many opportunities to extend their lead. Speed, tactical order and better individual players were the difference between the teams. New Zealand’s keeper, Speedy, made some good saves but could do little else behind a sleepy defense, which presented no problems for Uruguay’s strikers.
The second goal came in the 37th minute with a fine finish from Leandro Otormin, one of the most dangerous players for the winners.
Franco Acosta eventually killed the game very early with the third goal in the fourth minute of second half. New Zealand had no answer and ended up leaving spaces of which Uruguay took further advantage with a fourth goal, again from Acosta on the break.
Otormin scored the fifth and Facundo Ospitaleche who came off the bench, scored the sixth. Finally Franco Pizzichillo completed the scored with an amazing goal of his own.
This was an important victory for Uruguay, not only because of three points in the first game of the group but for the goal difference advantage, which might decide the qualification for the next round.
Coito was, of course, exuberant after the match, saying: “We are very happy for the lessons and for the way we play. Also we didn’t get any injuries or suspension for the next match.
“We have got huge confidence from this match, but it’s true for the next match we have to be careful as we have done with the last match and we are going to start planning for the next match, which is one we don’t want to lose.”
New Zealand’s Judd Baker said: “This was a bad performance from us. We just didn’t show up. Uruguay played well, we have to give them that, but we could have performed a lot better.”
* This article appeared first on AIPSMedia.com, the website of the international sports journalists association which is running a Young Reporters course in UAE with the support of the local organising committee and FIFA