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02 December 2019 | in FISU University World Cup - Football

University of Wollongong and University of the Republic players sweep University World Cup awards

 
University World Cup tournament MVP Santiago Pallares Palomeque (No 7) celebrates the go-ahead winning goal, which he scored in the 114th minute of the men's gold medal game

    • Individual awards were given out after the final

    • Santiago Pallares Palomeque wins as the men’s player of the tournament 

    • Marcus Beattie takes home men’s top scorer award

    • German Correa Prado snags top men’s goalkeeper award

    • FISU Fair Play men’s team awarded to University of Wollongong

 

It might have taken extra time, but after the curtain came down on the KELME 2019 FISU University World Cup - Football, with the University of the Republic defeating the University of Wollongong 2-1 to take the men’s tournament title, the moment arrived to honour the event’s standout individual performances.

 

Using analytics and a keen-eye for sports, the FISU technical panel selected the tournament’s best player, goal-scorer, and goalkeeper, along with the team most exemplifying sportsmanship.

 

 

Player of the Tournament

The University of the Republic captain Santiago Pallares Palomeque was elemental to the team’s stirring run to the cup. Coming into the gold medal game, Palomeque was on the shortest of shortlists for most valuable player honors. By scoring twice in the final, the Uruguayan striker left no doubt about who should take home the top player distinction. 

 

Palomeque’s award-winning performance started in the group play as he helped his team quality as the second seed for the quarterfinals. The student-athletes from Montevideo were just getting started, winning both their quarterfinal and semifinal in convincing fashion to set the scene under the big floodlights of Jinjiang Football Park Stadium on Sunday night.

 

With a tied game with a penalty-free kick in the 114th minute, the University of the Republic turned to Palomeque. In drilling a well-placed ball into the right corner, the striker gave his team the lead for good.

 

“With my strong teammates, we achieve this result together,” Palomeque said to FISU after playing in the final. “To take home the individual honour, I am very happy, very proud.

 

“In Uruguay, we love football. We are born with a football at our feet. Since three-years-old, I’ve had a ball at my feet. I might have broken a few windows with the ball, so winning this award makes up for that.”

 

 

 

 

Top Tournament Scorer

Just like he had in leading the tournament scoring table with six goals, the spectacular offensive attack of the University of Wollongong’s Marcus Beattie made its mark in the men’s final against the stout and cagey University of the Republic defensive backline. That he scored his first-half equaliser against the player named the best tournament goalkeeper indicated the quality of the 23-year-old’s playmaking ability.

 

“It’s good to score goals, that’s what I came here to do,” Beattie said to FISU after the gold medal game. 

 

Winning the top scorer award lessened the sting of losing the University World Cup in extra time, but it didn’t eliminate it.

 

“It’s great to get this individual award, but we really came here to win the title,” Beattie added. “We thought we had a team to win the tournament.”

 

Proving some measure of consolation for the finals loss with his New South Wales teammates, the top scorer award is fitting for a player as fast, effective and versatile in the heavily-trafficked lines of the football pitch to the open field.

 

“After they scored on the penalty kick, we had the ball the majority of the time,” Beattie said about playing extra time. “We put some good shots on goal, but we couldn’t quite get it done.”

 

Nevertheless, when Beattie returns to campus on Monday he’ll be holding his head high with his — and his team’s — play when they return to class in Wollongong on Monday.

 

“Look, he’s got a nose for the goal,” Wollongong head coach Luke Wilkhire said about his team captain. “He’s got energy. His pace, just an all-around great player.”

 

 

 

Best Goalkeeper

As the player of the tournament, Palomeque opened up tiny rooms of grass with imaginative play to setup high-probability scoring looks, the University of the Republic had goalkeeper German Correa Prado stifled opponents on the other end.

 

The Uruguayan defensive presence made itself known game after game, including three shutouts. Through the team’s six-game unbeaten streak, no team managed to score more than one goal on Prado.

 

While its no consolation for the rest of the field, twenty-year-old Prado the title team’s youngest player. During the post-game presser, University of the Republic head coach Alejandro Heguy Charamelo mentioned how having young players like Prado will help the team carry their winning tradition forward.

 

“I can’t believe it, I’m so happy I’m over the moon,” Prado said. “Great defending takes teammates, so this award also goes to my teammates. They helped make this possible.”

 

With the game-changing talent between the bars, here’s hoping we see the University of the Republic with Prado’s in goal again in 2021 when the second edition of the University World Cup returns to China’s Fujian Province.

 

 

FISU Fair Play Team Award

Some sports practitioners consider winning at all costs the ultimate formula. This unsteadying belief falls in the face of sports ideals — and especially against the spirit within university sports.

 

There are higher values than only those which bring victory. Fortunately, these higher value intangibles positively influence the game score. 

 

Nowhere is that more so the case than on the school grounds, where play is just that: play, coming from a love of kinetic motion and feeling a football at one’s feet. 

 

Playing the game the right way allows an integrated until to consistently perform at their peak on the pitch. It takes fitness, skill, composure, and character to excel at the University World Cup level. One needs to look no further than this tournament’s men’s and women's finals as in addition to the University of Wollongong winning the award and playing in for the title, the victorious University of Ottawa team women’s team also took home the other fair play award.

 

“Look, it's always nice to get awards,” Wollongong’s Wilkshire said. “Obviously you want to win it (the entire tournament). That would have been the best award, but obviously, it's nice to get some recognition.

 

“But, you know, its been an amazing time. The boys have worked extremely hard.”

 

Added Wilkshire: “I think its been an amazing tournament. I think it's been a huge opportunity for these students to play against international teams. I’m sure they’re going to take a lot from this.”


Agustin Baroffio Irazabal (No.4) celebrates winning the ultimate prize with his University of the Republic teammates during the awarding ceremony of the inaugural University World Cup - Football tournament
 

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