Uruguay vs Iraq summary: score, goals, highlights, | Under-20 World Cup
Uruguay vs Iraq: As it happened
Uruguay secured a statement win in their opening game of the U20 World Cup, swatting aside Asia Cup finalists Iraq 4-0.
La Celeste had the best of the opening exchanges but were kept at bay by some dogged defending from Iraq.
Uruguayan midfielder Franco Gonzalez was a menace throughout and it was he who helped break the deadlock, setting up Matias Abaldo shortly before the break. Gonzalez' mazy run found Abaldo in space and he fired home.
Within minutes of the restart Uruguay made it two when Andres Ferrari headed home after being given far too much room in the Iraq box. An own goal from unfortunate Iraqi goalkeeper Hussein Hasan made it 3-0 just after the hourmark and secured the win for Uruguay.
Right at the death Alan Matturo made it four with another free header, this time from a corner.
An impressive win for Uruguay and one that sets up a fascinating top-of-the-table encounter with England later this week.
La Celeste celebrate four-goal win
That was about as comprehensive a second half as you could ever hope to see from Uruguay.
Iraq made it difficult in the first half and it took La Celeste 40 minutes to make the breakthrough in La Plata. But they really turned the screw in the second half and took advantage of some poor marking to finish with a statement win.
Full time in La Plata
The game ends, but in all honestly it had been over for some time.
Uruguay blew Iraq away in the second half with a dominate performance. It's a deeply impressive start to the World Cup from Marcelo Broli's men. How far can they go?
It's been a statement performance from La Celeste tonight and the Uruguayan support is in good voice to finish. Not long to go now.
And it's four! Left back Alan Matturro adds to the Uruguayans' goal difference with a thumping header from a corner.
Poor defending once again, it must be said.
It's nearly four for Uruguay! Nicolas Siri finds space in behind and fires a low ball across. There's an Iraqi defender covering and he clears the ball for a corner.
Four minutes added
There will be four more minutes of action in this World Cup opener.
Uruguay look for a fourth goal from a corner but Luciano Rodriguez's header flies well wide.
Not long to go now, we're about to see how many minutes of injury time will be added.
Andres Ferrari stars for Uruguay
There has been no shortage of good performances from Uruguay tonight and Andres Ferrari will be delighted to have opened his account for the tournament. La Celeste's number nine put in plenty off work off the ball and capped his performance with a well-taken goal.
One to watch for England later this week.
Ignacio Sosa comes on to replace Damian Garcia for Marcelo Broli's side.
Job done, time to rest some legs now.
Perhaps the best piece of play of the match from Iraq, as Asher Ali conjures some space down the left. His floated cross looks dangerous for a moment but Uruguay has the bodies back to clear the danger.
Matias Abaldo, who broke the deadlock for Uruguay, is withdrawn for Nicolas Siri.
Ten to go in La Plata, Uruguay look to have wrapped up an opening win of their World Cup campaign could go a long way in this tournament.
Iraq break on Uruguay and Al Bazazinuh forces a corner for his side. They're not giving up here, you have to give them that.
The corner falls to Ali Saedi who lets fly from the edge of the box. A decent effort but it's pushed cleared by Rodriguez Lucas in the Uruguay goal.
Andres Ferrari lead the line well for Uruguay tonight and got his goal with a clinical finish.
However Franco Gonzalez was the star of the show during his time on the pitch, right in the heart of everything good about the Uruguayan's play in possession. His control in tight spaces set up the first goal and got his team up and running in the tournament.
La Celeste will face England in three days time so it looks like we're going to see a few players rested now.
Duarte, Homenchenko and Chagas all come on, for Ferrari, Ponte and Gonzalez
A nice bit of interplay on the edge of the Uruguay box nearly sets Al Bazazinuh through on goal. His run is blocked, however, by retreating Uruguayan defenders.
More promising from Iraq there, but the move was snuffed out well.
It's a triple change for Iraq, and it's a spate of subs that suggests that Emad Mohammed has given up on this game.
Three of Iraq's more impressive players - Hasani, Amyn and Ghasem - are withdrawn, replaced by Doulashi, Jameel and Aoraha.
It was an emphatic header from Facundo Gonzalez but the Valencia defender really should have been made to work harder for it. A corner whipped into the box by Fabricio Diaz is met by Gonzalez under virtually no pressure.
His effort flies past the Iraq goalkeeper and crashes in off the underside of the crossbar.
A well deserved 3-0 lead for La Celeste.
As Uruguay have taken control of the game the crowd in La Plata has definitely quietened down somewhat. The young Uruguayans will need to ensure that they don't let their guard down and allow Iraq back into it.
Another corner for Uruguay...
So nearly a third for La Celeste!
Franco Gonzalez the architect once again, dancing through the Iraq backline. He looks to square the ball for a teammate but the sheer number of white shirts in the box crowds him out.
Iraq need to show a bit of ambition now and that second goal may have woken them up. Two consecutive corners are swung into the Uruguayan box and a powerful header from Kadhim Raad narrowly misses the far post.
That's more like it!
But Andres Ferrari gets his goal just moments later! Clinical headed finish after being afforded far too much time in the box.
Luciano Rodriguez whips in another teasing cross from the right that finds Andres Ferrari in the middle. The striker tries to flick a headed effort towards goal but it's well off target.
And we're off!
Second half underway in La PLata and Iraq get things started with a speculatie shot easily saved.
Bit of a chance of Iraq as Asher Ali comes on for Emad Mohammed's side.
Uruguayan attack causes problems for Iraq
in the opening 45 minutes we certainly saw evidence of the attacking line up that has made Uruguay one of the most feared sides in the U20 World Cup this year.
Matias Abaldo broke the deadlock but Luciano Rodriguez on the other flank caused problems for the Iraq defence with his direct running. Striker Andres Ferrari looked like a handful but it was Franco Gonzalez who really impressed in the first half. His quick feet and inventive mind found space in front of the Iraq backline and create the chance for Abaldo to score.
Let's see if Iraq can get to grips with La Celeste in the second half.
Uruguay celebrate opening World Cup goal
It took a while to come but Uruguay did get the break though in the first half and it came via 19-year-old Matias Albaldo. The Defensor Sporting midfielder fired home after a sustained spell of pressure.
In all honesty, Iraq may well be the happier of the two teams with the score line at 1-0 at halftime.
And that'll be all for this half. A deserved lead for the Uruguayans, but Iraq aren't out of this yet.
The ball is met by the head of Boselli Graf but it flies over the bar.
Another foul on Franco Gonzalez, the 18-year-old number ten who has impressed so far. A last chance to deliver now...
Two minutes of added time
There will be two more minutes at the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata.
Damian Garcia tries his luck from range but it's comfortable caught by the Iraqi goalkeeper.
Another opening for Matias Abaldo after a headed clearance drops to the Uruguay goal scorer on the edge of the box.
Confidence is clear high after his goal but, unfortunately, so was that effort. The ball soared high over the crossbar and out for a Iraq goal kick.
The breakthrough goal came at the end of a good spell of sustained pressure from Uruguay. Iraq had managed to keep La Celeste at bay for the first 30 minutes but Marcelo Broli's team are getting some joy now.
A shot from Ferrari was blocked but the ball worked it's way to Matias Abaldo on the left of the box who rifled the ball into the net.
Let's see what Iraq can do now...
Brilliant play from Luciano Rodriguez down the right to beat his man and fire a low cross into the box. The first ball is cleared but Rodriguez nearly gets on the end of the second phase at the back post.
Uruguay pushing forward now.
A brilliant left-footed switch from Boselli Graf sets Uruguay back on the attack again. Uruguay have looked to build down the left a lot so far but this time they can't find the right combination down the flank and the ball's out for an Iraq free kick.
The ball is floated out for a goal kick to Iraq. Still 0-0 after half an hour in La Plata.
Frano Fernandez (Uruguay)
The Uruguayan playmaker is down under a heavy tackle but gingerly gets back to his feet. La Celeste to restart play with a wide free kick on the halfway line...
Big chance for Ali Jasim who gets his first sight of goal! He latches onto a loose ball on the edge of the box and drives forward, firing in a firm shot from just inside the penalty area.
Uruguay's goalkeeper is equal to it, but that shows Iraq's ability when given the opportunity.
Two Uruguay fouls in quick succession help to slow the pace of the game and give Iraq a chance to play their way back into this. A few minutes of respite for their defence, if nothing else.
Uruguay scream for a foul on the edge of the Iraq box after captain Fabricio Diaz goes to ground after a neat dribble. The youngster was probably adjudged to have gone down too easily and his protestations are waved away.
Fair enough, I'd say.
Cynical foul to bring down hotly-tipped Uruguayan winger Luciano Gonzalez as he darts inside. That'll be another free kick to La Celeste.
Another long range effort, this time from Ferrari, is saved by Rasetim.
Uruguay are definitely starting to take control of the game here and have racked up five attempts in the opening 23 minutes. However many of these have been fairly hopeful efforts from distance.
The latest flies miles over the crossbar but Iraq goalkeeper Rasetim bellows in frustration at his defence.
A clever pass from Fabricio Diaz finds centre forward Andres Ferrari running down the channel. It takes some solid defending from Alai Ghasem to clear the danger on this occasion.
There's a good atmosphere in the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata with drums, whistles and plenty of singing from those in attendance.
Facundo Gonzalez takes some big strides out of the Uruguay backline but the Valencia player's wild shot flies well over the bar.
An early sighter for the young star, though.
Franco Fernandez' effort is on target but is comfortably claimed by Rasetim in the Iraqi goal.
First bit of space for the Uruguayan number ten Fernandez who darts towards the Iraqi backline. He reaches the edge of the box and is hacked down in a dangerous position.
Good chance for a first attempt now...
Appeal for a penalty as the ball strikes the arm of Facundo Gonzalez in the heart of the Uruguayan defence. The referee waves away the appeals, probably fairly so, judging his arm to have been in a natural position.
Luciano Rodriguez gets in around the right for Uruguay and looks to feed a ball into his teammates centrally. He gets the pass wrong and Iraq cut it out, setting them forward on the break.
It's been a pretty even start so far. Both sides look to be sussing each other out in the early stages.
Iraq qualified for the tournament by reaching the final of the U20 Asia Cup, so they will not be overawed by their opponents' quality. In 16-year-old left back Alai Ghasem them have one of the most promising young defenders in the tournament and have no shortage of attacking talents.
Offside: Yousef Amyn
The Iraq winger is the target again but he makes his run a little to soon.
Iraq look to get Youssef Amyn involved in the action straight away with a long ball out to the left flank. He jinks inside but his ambitious through ball goals out for a goal kick.
And we're off
Uruguay get us started in their first game of their U20 World Cup 2023, away we go!
Iraq's U20 World Cup history
Iraq come into today's game as the underdogs but this young side will be looking to repeat the team's performance from a decade ago. In the 2013 tournament Iraq U20 reached the semi-final stage of the tournament.
The players are out!
Uruguay and Iraq's Under-20 teams are out for the national anthems in La Plata. First up, it's Uruguay...
Uruguay in the house!
There's less than ten minutes to go until kick-off in the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata and there are more than a few Uruguay fans in attendance. The South America contigent often travel well for tournaments like this but in Argentina that is even more the case.
'Seven Nation Army' by the White Stripes blares over the PA system and we're nearly ready to go.
Is Zidane Iqbal playing for Iraq in the U20 World Cup?
In recent months there has been much speculation about whether Manchester United starlet Zidane Iqbal will feature for Iraq in this tournament.
It was confirmed last month than the 20-year-old would not travel to Argentina because Erik Ten Hag wants him to be available for selection at Old Trafford.
He joins the likes of United teammate Alejandro Garnacho in being denied the chance to compete in the U20 World Cup.
Iraq U20 starting XI to face Uruguay
Here's how Emad Mohammed's side start their 2023 U20 World Cup journey...
Hussain Hassan - Alai Ghasem, Kadhim Raad, Adam Rasheed, Sajad Mohammed - Hayder AbdulKareem, AbdulRazzaq Qasim, Ali Sadiq - Mohammed Jameel, Youssef Amyn, Ali Jasim.
U20 World Cup results
As we await kick-off between Uruguay and Iraq, lets take a look at the previous round of games from today. There was a big shock in the first fixtures as South Korea secured a famous win over one of the pre-tournament favourites, France.
England 1-0 Tunisia
France 1-2 South Korea
Here's how Uruguay U20 line up for their opening fixture
We have team news from the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata!
As expected Fabricio Díaz will wear the captain's armband for the Celeste today, his Montevideo teammate Luciano Rodríguez will pose an attacking threat off the right flank.
Uruguayan support prepares for the big kick off
There's less than an hour to go until Uruguay's first fixture of the U20 World Cup in Argentina. We'll have team news from the Estadio De la Plata shortly...
Young Uruguayans enjoy a pre-match meal
Diet is a crucial part of all athlete's pre-match regime and the young Uruguayan team seem to be taking things seriously. They kick off their tournament opener today against against Iraq, team news out shortly.
The U20 World Cup gets going in Argentina on Saturday, this after the uncertainty generated by the cancellation of the tournament in Indonesia and the sudden appearance of the South American nation as the great saviour.
The Albiceleste youngsters start as one of the candidates to win the title, however, other powers in this category including Nigeria, France, England and Brazil will also fancy their chances.
Uruguay, too, have some of the hottest prospects in world football and will hope to show their talents against Iraq.
Here's today's U20 World Cup fixtures
Uruguay face Iraq in the second batch of games from today, following on from France vs South Korea and England vs Tunisia earlier today.
At time of writing, with a few minutes remaining in each game, South Korea and England each have a one-goal lead.
La Celeste will be looking to record their first win of the tournament when they face Iraq at Estadio Único Diego Armando Maradona. The 1997 and 2013 U20 World Cup runners-up are the favorites to progress alongside England in Group E.
Hello and welcome to AS!
I'm Will and I'll be bringing you all the latest from the Under-20 World Cup fixture between Uruguay and Iraq. Marcelo Broli will hope that his young Uruguayan side can get their World Cup journey off to a good start.