Chile Qualify for Under 20 World Cup
Despite beating champions Colombia twice, Chile had to wait until their final game to know if they could reach the under 20 World Cup in Turkey.
MENDOZA, ARGENTINA — A 1-1 draw was enough for La Rojita to move through to the World Cup, joining Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay as South America’s representatives. It will be the eighth time that Chile have played at the Under 20 World Cup.
The tournament was full of surprises, with Argentina and Brazil both failing to reach the hexagonal final. After powering through the group stage undefeated, Chile stumbled at the final stage, with their ongoing problem with discipline and suspension taking a toll.
Chile had to make substitutes early, with both Manuel Bravo and Ignacio Caroca going down injured within minutes of each other.
Coach Mario Salas and key goalscorer Nicolás Castillo both watched the clash with Peru from the sidelines. The match finished in a 1-1 draw, with an incredible long-range effort from Bryan Rabello leveling the scores.
Chile would be safe with a draw, while Peru needed a victory to win. Late in the game, Peru looked like scoring, however the goal was annulled due to an offside player.
As the full time whistle sounded, Chile’s substitutes ran on to the field to celebrate, while Peru could only wonder would could have been.
Coach Salas had just one month to prepare the team, but has achieved the goal despite an abysmal discipline record. Unlike the senior team in recent matches, La Rojita managed to keep a cool head despite losing players.
Strong performances by a variety of players has seen interest from European clubs, with many of the squad likely to join Rabello in Europe by the end of the year. Many of the current players in the national team came from the 2007 under 20 squad, which finished third in Canada.