Germany qualified for the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2023 after beating Argentina 4-2 on penalties after the scoreline ended 3-3 after regulation time at the Manahan Stadium in Surakarta, Indonesia on Tuesday.
In the final, Germany will face the winner of the second semifinal between France and Mali, which will be played later in the day.
Paris Brunner of Germany opened the scoring in the ninth minute. After getting the ball in the box, he beat Dylan Gorosito with a wonderful shimmy and beat Argentina goalkeeper Jeremias Florentine at his near-post.
Argentina’s equaliser came in the 36th minute through Agustin Ruberto. Gorosito did well to win possession inside the German penalty area. He then spotted Ruberto’s run and squared the ball to him with a low cross, which Ruberto converted with a first-time finish. With the goal, Argentina No. 9 became the highest-scorer of the tournament with six goals.
Ruberto grabbed his brace to give Argentina the lead right before the second half. The Albiceleste launched another attack in the final third, which Germany was unable to deal with. Ruberto got the ball inside the box and showed excellent composure to keep the ball. He then went for a shot to find the top-right corner of the net.
Germany started to show more intent in the second half and slowly found a tempo that was missing in the first half. It got its equaliser in the 58th minute after a poor clearance from Florentine went straight to Brunner, who capitalised on the mistake by curling the ball inside the net for his second.
Germany took the lead for the second time in the match and this time, it was Argentina’s poor defending to blame. A cross came in from the left flank, but Argentina’s second-half substitute, Juan Villalba could not deal with the danger. His poor clearance sent the ball straight to Max Moerstedt, who headed the ball inside the net.
The Albiceleste kept hounding the final third with attacking moves, but the German backline stayed compact to keep their opponents at bay.
The Germans were on the brink of qualifying for the final, but Argentina’s River Plate duo of Claudio Etcheverry and Ruberto had other ideas.
In the sixth minute of the eight minutes of second-half additional time, Argentina captain Etcheverry got the ball near the Germany penalty area and threaded an excellent through ball to Ruberto, who, with a sliding finish, not only clinched the precious equaliser but also his hat-trick as the ball hit the underside of the crossbar and rattled the back of the net.
With the match going straight to a penalty shootout, Germany had an excellent start, with Eric Da Silva Moreira and Robert Ramsak scoring its opening two penalties. Meanwhile, Argentina had a contrasting start, as Franco Mastantuono and Echeverry saw their spot-kicks saved by Germany keeper Konstantine Heide.
Argentina came back strong, with Juan Gimenez scoring and second-half substitute keeper Franco Villalba saving Finn Jeltsch’s penalty.
With the Albiceleste reducing the deficit, Juan Manuel Villalba found the net with his penalty, but Fayssal Harchaoui and Brunner converted their respected penalties to send Germany to the final.
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