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News > Sport

Venezuela Youth Team Classifies for World Soccer Championship

  • The Venezuelan team qualified for the final of the World Championship in South Korea.

    The Venezuelan team qualified for the final of the World Championship in South Korea. | Photo: Venezuelan Federation of Soccer

Published 8 June 2017

Despite ongoing protests called by the opposition, Venezuela has rallied behind their soccer stars in a sports milestone for the nation.

Venezuela's soccer team in the under 20-year-old category classified for the final of the World Championship in South Korea and will battle the U.K. for the title.

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This historical sports achievement comes as the country faces a political and economic crisis, with the right-wing opposition continuing to call for violent protests and more than 60 people killed since riots and clashes with police began in April.

Nelson Carrero, former coach of the team, said that it wouldn't be surprising that the Venezuelan team will win the tournament after the work his sucessor Rafael Dudamel.

Carrero credits this success to the Venezuelan government's financial and logistical support for training and their participation. The young team was also allowed to complete several tournaments for the last two years.

England will be the rival of the "Vinotinto" in the grand final on Sunday at 6:00 a.m. in Suwon.

"It got there because it has an extraordinary team, they understood that it is a joint sport, the philosophy of Dudamel reached the players and there is the result," said Carrero about the "Vinotinto," which is the nickname given to the team, due to the wine color of its uniform.

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The final of the tournament will be on Sunday between Venezuela and the U.K. after the European team beat Italy 3-1. It is the first time that these South American and Europe teams reach the finals of the championship.

Venezuela's team is part of Group B of the World Cup qualifiers alongside Germany, Vanuatu and Mexico and finished first after winning all three matches with nine points, and 10 goals in favor and zero against. In the next round Venezuela beat Japan 1-0 then beat the United States in the quarterfinals 2-1. Both matches were won in overtime.

The semifinals were won in a match defined by penalty shots 4-3, after they were tied 1-1 during the match.

Venezuela defeated Uruguay on penalties and will play the World Championship Final.

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