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Home News FISU University World Cup Football: Penalties decide a thrilling men’s final

FISU University World Cup Football: Penalties decide a thrilling men’s final

1 November 2023

The highly anticipated men’s final of the FISU University World Cup Football was decided in penalties with the dynamic team from Paulista University in Brazil prevailing over State University of Trade and Economics (SUTE) of Ukraine.

SUTE had arrived at the final as the most prolific scoring team with 13 goals and courtesy a 2-0 victory over the defending champions from Uruguay, University of the Republic, in the semi-final. Paulista, seventh place finishers in 2019, had to get through kicks in their semi-final to move past Myongji University from Korea.

In front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Jinjiang Park Football Stadium, the match saw the teams play a tentative first 20 minutes. The strong transition game for the Ukrainians then began to poke holes in the Paulista defence. In the 29th minute, a great individual effort at the top of the penalty area by Oleksandr Savchuk saw him shift quickly to his left and softly place a shot just inside the right post to give SUTE a 1-0 lead. The lead was nearly added to moments later on a cross by tournament scoring leader Denys Kruhl that ended just missed connecting with the foot of Mykyta Komisar.

Coming out of the halftime break, SUTE continued to press (picture above) and in the 49th minute an overrun ball 4m from goal by Paulista’s João Vitor Guimaraes gave an opportunity to SUTE’s Oleg Lyga to extend the lead, but Guimaraes recovered quickly to block the shot. Minutes later, a shot fired from distance by Kruhl looked labeled for the top right corner but Paulista keeper Diego Rodrigues Silva made a diving save to keep it 1-0.

SUTE continued to bring numbers back defensively giving nothing to Paulista, but, as they’ve done all tournament, the opportunistic Brazilians flashed their quick strike attack. With 20 minutes remaining, Guimaraes drifted a perfectly placed ball to Diego Miticov Rocha in the box who promptly fired a pass in front of the SUTE net to Matheus Soares Nascimento (picture below) who deposited his team leading fourth goal. With seemingly nothing happening for them on offence, the match was suddenly knotted at one.

In the waning minutes, both teams traded quality scoring opportunities with SUTE’s Artem Strilets having an in tight chance deflected away by Rodrigues Silva and then deep in stoppage time, a dangerous Paulista corner just eluded the head of an unmarked Fillipi Ribeiro Minitti.

Both halves of extra time were dominated by the Ukrainians who generated multiple chances. No opportunity was better than one in the 115th minute when SUTE’s Serhii Maksymets had his initial shot stopped by Rodrigues Silva, a second by Petro Savchuk was then halted at the line by Paulista fullback Igor Neves Valencio, and yet a third was poked to the line by Andrii Hryb but kept out by, Matheus Novais da Silva. Incredible defending by Paulista kept the score 1-1 and sent the final to penalties.

Tied 4-4 through the first ten shooters, with SUTE needing a goal to equalise, keeper Yaroslav Protsenko was sent to the spot. His attempt – saved by counterpart Rodrigues Silva – secured the win and gold medal for Paulista University in this thrilling final, with State University of Trade and Economics finishing second.

In the bronze medal match, a goal in the 90th minute by Uruguay’s University of the Republic striker Nicolas Stirling led them to a 2-1 win over Myongji University of Korea. This bronze now goes along with the gold University of the Republic won in 2019.

Gold Final

Paulista University (BRA)-State University of Trade and Economics (UKR)  1-1 AET (1-1, 0-1) PEN 6-5

Savchuk (29’, 0-1), Soares Nascimento (70’, 1-1) PEN: Miticov Rocha 1-0, Maksymets 1-1, Soares Nascimento, 1-1, O. Savchuk 1-1, Sales de Araujo 2-1, P. Savchuk 2-1, de Oliveira Ribeiro, 3-1, Romanenko 3-2, Novais da Silva, 3-2, Khrul, 3-3, Campos Xavier da Silva, 4-3, Strilets 4-4, Ribeiro Minitti 5-4, Varianyk 5-5, Dias Junior 6-5, Protsenko 6-5    

Bronze Final

Myongji University (KOR) – University of the Republic (URU)   1-2 (0-1)

Machado (28’, 0-1), Kim Dongseop (77’, 1-1), Stirling (90’, 1-2)

Final Standings (Men)

1 (Gold)Paulista University (BRA)
2 (Silver)State University of Trade and Economics (UKR)
3 (Bronze)University of the Republic (URU)
4Myongji University (KOR)
5Ramon Llull University (ESP)
6Kenyatta University (KEN)
7University of la Matanza (ARG)
8Hohai University (CHN)
9University of Split (CRO)
10Western Sydney University (AUS)
11The University of Auckland (NZL)
12West University of Timisoara (ROU)

Written by Doug McLean