ALAN VACCARO / AIPS* in DUBAI: Goals either side of half-time led Argentina towards a 3-0 win over Canada which saw them top Group E and thus carry on to face Tunisia in the round of 16 of the FIFA U -17 World Cup UAE 2013.

The first two goals were an “oasis in the desert” of a game that was slow, boring and with few clear scoring opportunities.  Early on Argentina were closer to scoring with a volley by Sebastian Driussi that the Canadian goalkeeper saved at second attempt.

The Canadians tried to attack but failed to breach a firm Argentinan defence and the South American champions went ahead in the last minute of the first half. Midfielder Luis Leszczuk waited for Joaquín Ibañez to send him clear, after a long run, to the first goal of the game.

That advantage was increased immediately after half time. This time it was Matias Sanchez with a beautiful header after a cross from Nicolas Tripichio to make it 2-0.

Canada then turned to attack in search of a goal of their own and almost succeeded. First Elijah Roubos incredibly missed from below the crossbar and then Jordan Hamilton had all the time in the world – one-on-one against Augusto Batalla – but lost out to the goalkeeper.

Only a few minutes remained when Sánchez scored Argentina’s third with an exquisite execution. The man of the match took all the time to tee up the ball, raise his head and put a curler in the top corner.

The win meant Argentina secured first place in Group E and will face Tunisia in the next round. Canada were eliminated without a win in the tournament and still have to register a victory in these finals.


* AIPS, the international sports journalists association, is running a Young Reporters course at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 with the support of the local organising committee and FIFA

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