France won the Under-20 World Cup for the first time after drawing with Uruguay 0-0 after extra time and winning the penalty shootout 4-1 in Istanbul on July 13.
France goalkeeper Alphonse Areola saved Uruguay’s first two penalties – from Emiliano Valazquez and Giorgian De Arrascatea – before Dimitri Foulquier converted the fourth for France, giving the Europeans an insurmountable lead.
In the 36-year history of the event, France is the sixth European champion, but only the second in the past 20 years following Spain’s victory in 1999.
France previous best was fourth, two years ago in Colombia. Uruguay suffered its second defeat in a final after losing to Argentina in 1997.
Ghana wins bronze medal, Iraq wins the hearts
Earlier, Ebenezer Assifuah’s tournament-leading sixth goal helped Ghana beat Iraq 3-0 in the third-place match of the Under-20 World Cup hosted in Turkey on July 13.
Assifuah scored Ghana’s second with a low angled shot on halftime. Defender Joseph Attamah’s header from a corner gave Ghana the lead 10 minutes earlier. Frank Acheampong added the third from a counterattack in the 78th.
The winner of the tournament in 2009, Ghana was the only former champion left in the semifinals.
Iraq matched its best achievement in a FIFA competition after also coming fourth at the 2004 Athens Olympics.