South American U17 Championship: Argentina And Brazil Suffer But Win Close Openers

Goals galore in the South American youth tournament, as Argentina squeeze past Peru and Brazil fight back twice to down Venezuela...
Group A

Argentina 4-2 Peru

A stunning comeback by Argentina's youngsters secured a 4-2 win over Peru, who had looked strong in the early exchanges but faltered as the game progressed.

The Incas took a shock lead after four minutes through Raziel Garcia's well-placed shot from the edge of the area and, despite going down to 10 men, managed to double their lead with an effort from Carlos Urquiaga. Argentina were unlucky to go two down but needed to hit back; Leandro Paredes converted from the penalty spot after Brian Ferreira was chopped down.

The second half was dominated by the Albiceleste, and the impressive Ferreira sent his side into the lead with a brilliantly taken goal after Lucas Ocampo had equalised. The three points were assured with seven minutes left on the clock, when Lucas Pugh blasted in from outside the area.

Ecuador 2-1 Bolivia

Hosts Ecuador got their campaign off to a winning start, overcoming Bolivia thanks to an excellent first half display.

In a dominant performance early on, the Tricolor wasted little time in breaking the deadlock in front of their own fans. Luis Batioja netted the first with 22 minutes on the clock, and just three minutes later the side were strolling back to the centre circle once more as Kevin Mercado doubled the advantage.

However, after the break the home side relaxed somewhat, and Bolivia enjoyed more time on the ball and more time in the Ecuador half. Royer Silva pulled one back for La Verde after 49 minutes, but there was no further advance on the scoreline and the hosts took all three points.

Group B

Brazil 4-3 Venezuela

Pedro Paulo's late winner settled a gripping opening tie between Brazil and Venezuela, after the Verdeamarelho twice came back from behind to win a seven-goal thriller.

The championship holders were stunned early on, when Manuel Arteaga's double strike put the Vinotinto 2-0 up after just eight minutes. Brazil were soon back on level terms, but in the 33rd minute Alejandro Gonzalez netted the fifth strike of the game to give Venezuela a 3-2 advantage at the end of a pulsating half.

The Selecao kids were by no means down however, and Sao Paulo wonderkid Lucas Piazon struck with 19 minutes remaining to level the scores. The Vinotinto barely had time to kick off again before the decisive goal came, this time through Cruzeiro's Pedro Paulo as Brazil secured a hard-fought victory.

Chile 2-2 Colombia

Colombia let three points slip in their opening U17 encounter, as a two-goal lead against Chile disappeared in an entertaining draw.

The Cafetero youngsters were impressive early on, and two strikes from Cristian Garces gave them the advantage in the first half. The Deportivo Pereira youngster hit a beauty from outside the area which nestled in the top left hand corner, before doubling his tally minutes later with a well-taken close range effort.

After a disciplined first period though, cracks began to be noticed in the Colombian backline, and Chile took full advantage after the break. Gerardo Navarrete headed home on 58 minutes, before a powerful shot from Angelo Henriquez levelled the game with just over 15 minutes left on the clock.

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