Highlights: 2011 Sudamericano sub-20 championship

The 2011 Sudamerico Sub-20 championship was played between 16 January and 12 february 2011. The top two finishers (Brazil and Uruguay) qualify to play in the 2012 Olympic football tournament. The top four finishers qualified to play in the FIFA under-20 World Cup (Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina & Ecuador) and will be joined by the hosts Colombia. The top four also qualify for the 2011 Pan American games in Mexico.

Brazil won the tournament with a last day 6-0 victory over runners-up Uruguay, Argetina had a disappointing campaign finishing in 3rd place however it was a vast improvement on their bottom of the table finish in the 2009 edition of the tournament. Ecuador did well to finish fourth and qualify to play in the Under 20 World Cup.

Chile and Colombia qualified for the final group phase but finished in the bottom two positions in the group of six, however Colombia will still play in the under 20 World Cup as hosts.

The hosts of the tournament Peru were eliminated in the first group stage along with Bolivia, Paraguay and Venezuela. Of these teams Venezuela are the ones that can take the most from the tournament having only lost one of their four games and uncovered the talent of Yohandry Orozco.

1st group stage

Argentina scored dramatic late winners in their first two games to establish themselves at the top of group A while Brazil got off to a flying start, their latest wonder-kis Neymar hit all four goals in a 4-2 win against Paraguay in their first game and they beat Colombia 3-1 in their next game.

Argentina were the first team to progress to the final group phase after a 1-1 draw against Venezuela. In a potentially decisive game for both clubs Uruguay hammered Chile 4-0, their fourth goal came from a dribble from his own half from defender Diego Polenta.

Brazil missed their chance to ensure qualification after drawing 1-1 with Bolivia however Ecuador's 1-0 win against Paraguay a couple of hours later ensured Brazil's qualification. Apart from Brazil the rest of Group B was wide open however the loser of the next game between Colombia and Bolivia would almost certainly be out of the qualification challenge.

In the fourth round of group A games Argentina beat Chile 3-1 and the hosts Peru earned their first point of the campaign with a 1-1 draw against Venezuela whose equaliser was a sublime individual effort from Yohandry Orozco. Argentina remained the only team to have qualified while any two of the remaining four sides could have qualified depending on the results of the final round of games.

In the penultimate round of games in group B, Brazil secured their position as group winners with a 1-0 win against Ecuador thanks to a lovely team goal finished off by Henrique. Which of the other teams would qualify would be decided in the last round of games. Bolivia needed a win against Ecuador or they would definitely go out and Paraguay probably needed to beat Colombia to qualify.

Chile came back from 0-1 down to ensure their qualification with a 3-1 win against Venezuela who ended up bottom of the table but can take some pride from having only lost one of their four games and from the great form shown by their striker Yohandry Orozco. In the other game the hosts Peru managed a 2-0 win against Uruguay but they missed out on qualification because they needed to win by four goals to overhaul Uruguay's better goal difference.

In group B Brazil were joined by Ecuador and Colombia as qualifiers. Ecuador progressed with a 3-1 win against Bolivia and Colombia came back from 1-3 down against Paraguay to draw 3-3 giving them the point they needed to secure their place in the final group stage.

Group A

Argentina 2-1 Uruguay
Peru 0-2 Chile
Peru 1-2 Argentina
Venezuela 1-1 Uruguay
Argentina 1-1 Venezuela
Chile 0-4 Uruguay
Chile 1-3 Argentina
Peru 1-1 Venezuela
Chile 3-1 Venezuela
Peru 2-0 Uruguay

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Argentina 4 3 1 0 8 4 +4 10
 Chile 4 2 0 2 6 8 −2 6
 Uruguay 4 1 1 2 6 5 +1 4
 Peru 4 1 1 2 4 5 −1 4
 Venezuela 4 0 3 1 4 6 −2 3
Group B

Colombia 1-1 Ecuador
Brazil 4-2 Paraguay
Bolivia 0-1 Paraguay
Colombia 1-3 Brazil
Brazil 1-1 Bolivia
Ecuador 1-0 Paraguay
Colombia 2-1 Bolivia
Ecuador 0-1 Brazil
Ecuador 3-1 Bolivia
Colombia 3-3 Paraguay

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Brazil 4 3 1 0 9 4 +5 10
 Ecuador 4 2 1 1 5 3 +2 7
 Colombia 4 1 2 1 7 8 −1 5
 Paraguay 4 1 1 2 6 8 −2 4
 Bolivia 4 0 1 3 3 7 −4 1

Final group stage

The final group stage got off to a surprising start with Ecuador beating Argentina 1-0 in a game featuring more than a few bad misses. Brazil rediscovered the high scoring form they had in their first two games with a convincing 5-1 win against Chile. Uruguay also recorded a win beating Colombia 1-0 with a long range free kick from Adrián Luna.

The pick of the second round of games was Argentina's 3-2 win against Chile. Brazil established themselves a two point lead at the top with a 2-0 win against Colombia while Uruguay and Ecuador could only manage a 1-1 draw. 

The third round of matches saw Uruguay take a surprise lead in the group after another spectacular free kick from Adrián Luna to earn a 1-0 against Chile who remained pointless after three games. 

Argentina recovered from their defeat to Ecuador and beat Brazil 2-1 in one of the games of the tournament so far, Brazil went 1-0 down to a penalty and had Juan sent off in the 6th minute before Willian equalised with a magnificent long range strike. Juan Manuel Iturbe won the game for Argentina with a marauding run and a smart finish to bring them level with Brazil on 6 points, one point behind the leaders Uruguay.

Ecuador were dissapointed to have dropped points in a 0-0 draw with Colombia but with five points they still had a theoretical chance of winning the title despite slipping to 4th position.

In the penultimate round of matches Uruguay secured qualification for the 2012 Olympics with a 1-0 win over Argentina who look extremely unlikely to be able to defend their 2008 Olympic Gold as Brazil's 1-0 win against Ecuador means that they are three points behind Brazil with a vastly inferior goal difference. In the other game Chile secured their fisrt points of the final group stage with a 3-1 win against Colombia meaning that they could still qualify for the Under-20 World Cup with a win against Ecuador in their last game.

In the final round of fixtures Brazil claimed the championship with an emphatic 6-0 win against runners up Uruguay. This result meant that Argentina failed to qualify for the Olympics in London, meaning that they will not be able to defend their gold medals from 2008, they did however secure third place with a 2-0 win against Colombia. Ecuador secured 4th place and a berth at the Under-20 World Cup with a 1-0 win against Chile thanks to a spectacular long range strike from Dixon Arroyo. the most famous incident in the game was this bizarre confrontation between Edson Montaño and Bryan Carrasco.

Brazilian wonderkid Neymar finished as tournament top scorer with 9 goals, five more than anyone else.

Uruguay 1-0 Colombia
Argentina 0-1 Ecuador
Chile 1-5 Brazil
Brazil 2-0 Colombia
Chile 2-3 Argentina
Uruguay 1-1 Ecuador
Uruguay 1-0 Chile
Argentina 2-1 Brazil
Ecuador 0-0 Colombia
Colombia 1-3 Chile
Ecuador 0-1 Brazil
Uruguay 1-0 Argentina
Colombia 0-2 Argentina
Ecuador 1-0 Chile
Uruguay 0-6 Brazil

Final positions

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Brazil 5 4 0 1 15 3 +12 12
 Uruguay 5 3 1 1 4 7 –3 10
 Argentina 5 3 0 2 7 5 +2 9
 Ecuador 5 2 2 1 3 2 +1 8
 Chile 5 1 0 4 6 11 −5 3
 Colombia 5 0 1 4 1 8 −7 1

9 goals
4 goals
  • Argentina Facundo Ferreyra
  • Brazil Lucas
  • Colombia Edwin Cardona
  • Ecuador Edson Montaño
3 goals
  • Argentina Juan Manuel Iturbe
  • Brazil Casemiro
  • Brazil Willian
  • Bolivia Darwin Rios
  • Chile Bryan Carrasco
  • Chile Luis Felipe Gallegos
  • Uruguay Adrián Luna
    For more South American football highlights, including the Brazilian & Argentine leagues, the pick of the rest and other international tournaments:

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