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FIFA World Youth Championship Argentina 2001
Argentina's win lays basis for future

Argentina's Javier Saviola (L) and Fabricio Coloccini hold up the trophy after beating Ghana.
Photo Enrique Marcarian, Reuters
Argentina captured their third title in the past four editions of the FIFA World Youth Championship with a comfortable win over Ghana in Buenos Aires - and staked an unmistakable claim to the World Cup itself in five years' time.

Egypt's Under-20 soccer team celebrates after beating Paraguay to finish third overall.
Photo Rickey Rogers, Reuters
Seldom if ever has a team winning the World Youth Championship looked so convincingly poised to go on to greater things as this side coached so impressively by Jose Pekerman, the man who has now created a hat-trick of championship-winning teams.

A packed Velez Sarsfield Stadium on a sunny afternoon in Buenos Aires saw their team dominate from start to finish, Ghana's misery being compounded by a missed penalty late in the game when the issue was, anyway, already beyond doubt.

With superstar Javier Saviola again in irrepressible form, Argentina effectively stunned Ghana's hopes with two goals in the first quarter of an hour, Saviola getting the second and consolidating a new record of 11 goals in one tournament. He also emulated Diego Maradona by winning the Golden Ball trophy for the best player, the trophy Maradona had won in the 1979 tournament when Argentina won its first World Youth title.

Thus the title went to the team that had shown the most accomplished football, individually and collectively, throughout the three-week tournament and marked a new milestone in the history of world youth football.

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