Captain Gustavo Puerta scored a late winner to give Colombia a 2-1 victory over Israel in an entertaining Group C opener at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 on Sunday, May 21. The Cafeteros, whose supporters were lively throughout, began the brighter, but the Blue and Whites grew as the first half wore on.
Israel took the lead shortly into the second half, Dor Turgeman sending Luis Marquinez the wrong way from the penalty spot. Oscar Cortes did exactly the same at the other end to level the scores.
A draw looked on the cards until Puerta tricked his marker and arrowed the ball into the bottom corner in the 90th minute. Read more: Report: Casadei Stuns Brazil as Italy Win Thriller, 3-2
The result was a deserved one for Colombia, who for the most part was the better team for long periods of the game. Israel showed plenty of spirit and determination, but their inexperience ultimately undid them.
Puerta was the star of the show, and his performance will have done his chances of breaking into the Colombia first team no harm. He is a talented young player with a bright future ahead of him.
Colombia will now be looking to build on this victory when they face Senegal in their next Group C match on Wednesday. Israel, meanwhile, will be hoping to bounce back against Japan in their final group game.
Final Result – Israel 1-2 Colombia
Goal: Turgeman pen (57), Cortes pen (74), Puerta (90)