The Argentine U17 team, despite a spirited performance, fell short in the semifinals of the World Youth Tournament. They faced a heart-wrenching defeat to Germany in a penalty shootout after a 3-3 draw in a match held in Indonesia. Agustín Ruberto scored a decisive goal for Argentina, but it wasn't enough to prevent the downfall. This result marks Argentina's sixth loss in a U17 World Cup semifinal, a negative streak stretching back to 1991.
Argentine Teams and Their Constant Struggle
Over the years, Argentine teams, featuring future senior national team stars like Marcelo Gallardo, Juan Sebastián Verón, Esteban Cambiasso, and Carlos Tevez, among others, have reached the semifinals but have never managed to advance to the final. This trend continued in the match against Germany, where the Argentine team gave an admirable performance but fell short in the decisive moment.
Online Support and Criticism
Following the match, the Argentine team received both support and criticism online. Several World Cup champions, including Lionel Scaloni, expressed their support for the U17 team. Ángel Di María, through his Instagram stories, shared a team photo with a heartfelt message: 'Proud of how you represented us in the World Cup. Thank you for that commitment and grit till the end.'
However, amidst the support, goalkeeper Jeremías Florentín faced a barrage of insults and threats on his Instagram account. This was following an unfortunate error in the match against Germany, which set off a chain of violent attacks online. Despite the negativity, Florentín's performance was commendable, as he was forced to disable comments on his Instagram account.
Looking Forward to the Third-Place Playoff
The Argentine U17 team will now be aiming for the consolation prize of third place when they face Mali, who lost to France in the other semi-final. Despite the continued struggle to break into the finals, the Argentine team continues to show resilience and hope for a better result in the future.