Argentina lose to Mali on penalty kicks at FIFA U20 World Cup


It’s the end of the road for the Argentina team at the U20 FIFA World Cup after losing on penalty kicks.

In a match where they took the lead twice, Fernando BATISTA’s team lost their concentration and ultimately got eliminated from the World Cup. Argentina took a 1-0 lead through their main target man Adolfo GAICH who took advantage of a loose ball in the penalty area.

Argentina would go on to let in a goal following a Mali corner kick. GAICH would nearly restore his team’s lead but his header went to the wrong side of the post. Goalkeeper ROFFO was forced into a great save to keep it level.

The match would require extra time. Ezequiel BARCO would restore Argentina’s lead but Mali would go on to equalize through a quick free kick which was played short.

Penalty kicks were needed and everyone score their penalty except for Tomas CHANCALAY who would miss his as Mali would go on to win.


  1. The only positive from this tournament is EZEQUIEL BARCO. It looks like he will be the next superstar player from Argentina. He just need to move to Europe as soon as possible.

  2. Just get interested with Emi Buendia did with his recent club, Norwich City. They claim as winner of English Championship Division, as well as promoted to EPL next season. Hope next few years he got a call-up for NT, if he plays consistently in EPL. I dont want him to be such a waste like Papu Gomez, even though he still had a chances next year. They have little bit similar role inside pitch.

  3. Many of our players are over rated. They simply do not have the technical ability, mental strength and aptitude to make the correct decisions on the pitch.

    Compared to the golden age of the u20 none of this lot would get a look in. The first goal came from an underhit pass from the back. The second from a needless free kick.

    Argentine players unable to pass accurately ? The lack of technical ability reflected in a refusal to dribble the ball or play the one two in and around the box. Just the same old routine of long balls and crosses many of which were aimless and when they were actually decent we have either no one in the box or Gaich.

    He is a dreadful player. For a nine he is always on his heels, unable to read the play and to think we have had players like Saviola and Kun turn out for the u20’s and Cavegol too. He misses two simple chances laid on a plate by Alvarez.

    There was no ability either to retain the ball. No calmness when required. I am afraid to say that the lack of success at u20 level is indicative of a malaise in youth coaching in Argentina. The view from the AFA is that players will come and turn up out of the blue.

    But that is entirely wrong. Other nations are catching up while we regress. We need a full examination of youth coaching the paths young players take and how they get exposed to first team football while learning from other countries training methods and combining it with the best Argentine traditions which were sorely absent from this u20 squad.

    One also has to look at the coaching. Batista is useless. The AFA should get a top class coach in. Beccacece for example. And not keep appointing new coaches every time we have an u20. Get the coach in and allow him to scout the country pick his core of players and then work with them throughout a season and at the end of it. And not just for one cycle but several.

    And as for player selection. It was mind boggling to see Medina playing in there over Balerdi and Garay. No Barreal, Colidio, Garre and even Almada. Batista is a moron but why were these European based players not picked ? Is it the AFA trying to send a message to young players to stay in Argentina if you want to be picked or trying to inflate the values of the domestic players ? Well this horror show will have dented those figures.

    So one dimensional and with a technical ability far below what is needed from Argentine age group sides of the past. Gaich is a donkey and others like Barco and Ferreira one trick ponies.

    Out of this squad that played Perez, Alvarez, Sosa and Moreno have a decent future. de la Vega needs to develop further and Pourtau has ability too. Alemendra was barely even used at the top of the midfield. Another disgraceful chapter in what is becoming an ever familiar story at u20 level. To lose to Mali that global footballing superpower is a disgrace.

    • It’s been upsets throughout this u20. Maybe the coach tactics was the issue. While the players were not supremely talented, they are good enough. Want to see heinze being our NT coach or atleast u20 coach v soon.

  4. Another chance are wasted and as usual Arg remains favorite and as a fans we will find lots of words that we deserved the winning and had produced high talented future. May the force guide us all

  5. They deserved to win. However, they did miss several opportunities during the match. The last few minutes they thought they won it, but it aint over until the final whistle. Too bad because our decense has not looked this good in many years.

  6. Can anyone tell me how the second goal was allowed ‘ the refree was instructing the Argentina player near the ball to move back’ clearly distracted by the refree’ when the Mali player went free’ isn’t the refree supposed to bring the game back and retake the free kick…..guys plz comment

  7. Sure , we could pointing at bad coaching and player selection, this is largely true aswell, but we see other teams that not exactly play a better football are still able to beat us when it matter. Losing to superior team that play better football is a different thing, but Argentina just keep losing when things get tough and it doesnt even matter what kind of team we play against. At this rate, soon we’re going to make every minor footballing nation looks like world beater.

  8. Shame really… that goal in minute 121 was unusual to say the least…
    fact is Gaich had 5 solid chances from within 4 yards and made 1. 1/5 Doesnt even make you good let alone world class!!! SHAME the rest of the team deserved more

    • Not exactly unusual , we blew Copa America 2004 final in same fashion. The u17 side only needs to protect 4 goals difference in their last game of Sudamericno, they almost blew it aswell , losing 1-4. Lucky enough still 1 goal in spare.

    • Even Messi Ronaldo miss penalties and easy chances. Gaich is not a finished product. Hes under 20 player Just remember that. He has talent that is very different from all the forward we priduce recently.

      • A #9 must finish… at least put on target at his age .. his strength is his strength to hold up the ball… but that is not enough… Lautaro Martinez is rated higher as #9 at his age… he reminds me of Calleri! his headers were horrible! One of them gaich completely missed and it hit the back for his neck! 3-1 and easy win for Argentina if he did his job… will he ever be world class … doubtful but with time he may be a Calleri caliber player … maybe a Gio Simeone disappointed … we have product a world class #9 with similar qualities and then some… Icardi

      • True but that’s not an excuse. Yea Messi , Aguero or CR missed some sitters aswell but compare to the number of chances they had, they still scores at much higher ratio while Gaich simply missed too many of them. Against Mali alone, Gaich had about 5-6 easy chances.

        Remember that we have had many great players scoring many goals in u20 and u23 (Olympic) and Gaich simply doesnt belong in the same bracket as those great players.

        Here’s will give you some picture… if Gaich is considered as great than our standard has becoming so low.

        Maradona 1979 = 6 goals (midfielder)
        Ramon Diaz 1979 = 8 goals (top scorer)
        Daniel Romeo 1997 = 4 goals
        Riquelme 1997 = 4 goals (midfielder)
        Saviola 2001 = 11 goals (top scorer)
        Maxi Rodriguez 2001 = 4 goals (midfielder/winger)
        Cavenaghi 1997 = 4 goals (joint top scorer)
        Messi 2005 = 6 goals (didnt play the first match) (top scorer)
        Zabaleta 2005 = 3 goals (defender)
        Maxi Moralez 2007 = 4 goals (midfielder)
        Aguero 2007 = 6 goals (top scorer)
        Di Maria 2007 = 3 goals (midfielder/winger)
        Tevez 2004 Olympic = 8 goals (top scorer)

  9. That’s simply a choking mentallity that played biggest role in this lost. Argentina has been known for that. They’ve lost 4 of last 5 Copa America in penalty shootout . They just couldnt win the game when it matter. They could won 3-0, 6-1 or 4-0 in semifinal but when it comes to the final, they just choked big time.

    This u20 lost the Sudamericano title due to losing the last game to crap Brazillian side that finished bottom. They beat them earlier in tournament 3-0 but when it really matter, in due or die situation, they lost 0-1 and lost the title!

    The u17 that recently won Sudamericano and if you notice… they came into the last game only need to secure 4 goals differences to win the title and they almost blew it! they lost 1-4 ! yea they still won but it clearly shows lack of nerve from Argentina players.

  10. It’s OK, Argentina… You have given your optimal effort.. This FIFA U20 World Cup 2019 is not for us…

    I believe that you will have a bright future at a higher level with national team, Boys… Heads up… Let’s move on…

    Vamos Argentina! Go Tango! God bless everyone….

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