On Saturday afternoon, Argentina rounded off the São Paulo 2017 Youth Parapan American Games by defeating host nation Brazil 2-1 in the Football 7-a-side final (played by athletes with cerebral palsy), avenging yesterday’s defeat to their traditional rivals in the 5-a-side event.
The first half was very tight, with more stoppages than shots on goal. Both sides showed brief glimpses of their technical quality, but first-half chances were restricted to set-pieces.
The biggest story of the first half came in the stands, where those in attendance made sure the match had the traditional Argentina v Brazil atmosphere, one of the biggest rivalries in world sport. On the last day of the Youth Parapan, athletes who competed earlier in the week came out in force to watch Saturday’s finals.
Argentina started stronger in the second half, creating chances and forcing Brazil to defend in their own half. Midfielder Carlos Carrizo struck the crossbar with a free-kick and soon after scored the game’s opening goal, taking advantage of an error in the Brazilian defence.
Just as all appeared to be lost for the home side, who were unable to create any meaningful chances for large parts of the second half, Gustavo de Jesus scored Brazil’s equaliser with minutes left to play, sending the final to extra time.
Argentina regained their lead in the second half of extra time, with Carlos Carrizo scoring his second of the match and the goal which won his country the final gold medal of the Games.
“Thank god we were able to get this victory against our rivals Brazil”, said Carrizo, moments after the final whistle. “We won thanks to the effort of my team-mates.”
Earlier on Saturday, Colombia sealed the bronze medal with a 3-1 win over Venezuela.