On Tuesday, Italy took on Ukraine and Ecuador took on South Korea in the semifinals of the 2019 Under-20 World Cup in Poland. Ukraine was able to edge Italy behind a goal from Serhiy Buletsa in the 65th minute (although a costly red card for Denys Popov means that Ukraine will not have him in the finals. Italy was only able to muster nine shots (with just one on target) despite possessing for 62 percent of the game and completing 83 percent of their passes. Now Italy will take on Ecuador, who fell to South Korea in the other semifinal, which also ended up in 1-0 score. In that game, Ecuador led in shots, 14-10 (6-2 on target) and in time of possession (62 percent to 38 percent), but it was South Korea who got the goal from Jun Choi in the 39th minute. While South Korea and Ukraine head to the finals, Italy and Ecuador will square off on Friday for third place. We have your soccer betting preview of this FIFA match.
Italy vs Ecuador 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup Third Place Odds & Pick
The battle for bronze is on today at the #U20WC
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) June 14, 2019
When: Friday, June 14, 2019, 2:30pm ET
Where: Gdynia Stadium, Gdynia, Poland
Live Stream: Fox Sports GO
Soccer Odds: Ecuador +163 / Italy +156 / Draw +223 / O/U 2 ½ (Over -108, Under -121)
Why should you bet on Italy?
Italy has put together quite a few top-three finishes at youth World Cups and European Championships lately. They took third place in the last U-20 World Cup, in South Korea, when they finished a match against Uruguay in a scoreless draw and then won on penalty kicks. They need to get a solid match out of forward Gianluca Scamacca, who has not scored in this World Cup; it looked like he had tied the game in stoppage time against Ukraine, but then the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) overruled a goal because of a foul.
Italy can turn on the offense, as they showed in a 4-2 demolition of Mali in the quarterfinal, and they also have a fairly solid back line. In a match this even, though, just one mistake can serve as the turning point of the game. If you like Italy, you see them taking advantage of their experience at this stage in this sort of tournament and overcoming the disappointment of getting upset by Ukraine.
Why should you put your money on Ecuador?
Ecuador has played solid soccer throughout this tournament. They have already played Italy once, falling 1-0 on May 26. After that, they got hot, rolling over Mexico, 1-0, Uruguay, 3-0, and the United States, 2-1, to end up in the semifinals. That’s a solid roll even though they lost to South Korea. They dominated the action from start to finish but could not get a ball in the back of the net.
Keep an eye on Leonardo Campana, who was the leading scorer in the qualifying competition for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in the South American region but still has yet to score in this tournament. He has put some fine shots on net, only to find opposing goalkeepers at the right place at the right time. He is the team’s #9 and will be looking to make the sort of breakthrough play that will bring home the bronze for his country.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Both Ecuador and Italy were favored to advance to the finals of this Under-20 World Cup, so there will be some bruised egos on both sides of the ball looking for some redemption. This could mean that both sides make some mistakes as they look to push the ball forward and score goals. Both players have talented attackers, so I see this game going over — and I see Italy prevailing over Ecuador, 3-2.