Italy beat Korea Republic 2-1 while Uruguay pipped Israel 1-0 in the semi-finals of the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup to set up a final match against each other.
Simone Pafundi’s palatial, late free-kick eliminated Korea Republic and secured Italy a place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup final for the first time. Carmine Nunziata’s team will now collide with Uruguay for the trophy on Sunday.
Cesare Casadei broke the deadlock with a sumptuously-cushioned finish from just inside the box, but Lee Seungwon equalised from the penalty spot after Bae Junho was felled.
Kim Joonhong made a superb block from a point-blank Matteo Prati header, but he was left rooted to the spot when Pafundi curled a free-kick over the wall and into the top corner.
In the second Semifinal, a predator’s goal from Anderson Duarte grabbed Uruguay victory over Israel and a place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 final.
The first half was evenly balanced and chance-high. A no-look pass from Roy Revivo sent Tay Abed through on goal, but his firm shot was repelled by Randall Rodriguez. Rodrigo Chagas then carried the ball from the edge of the Uruguayan box into the Israeli half and freed Duarte, whose strike was saved by Tomer Zarfati.
The Uruguay No 7 spurned a great opportunity at the start of the second, but he was soon on the score-sheet. Alan Matturro powered forward and unleashed a fine, low strike that came back off the post after Zarfati had got a slight touch on the shot. Duarte reacted instantly and, sliding in, got there before two Israelis to poke it home.
Uruguay kept possession thereafter to become the sixth nation to reach three U-20 World Cup finals.