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Under-20 Intercontinental Cup 2023, Boca Juniors 1-1 AZ Alkmaar (4-1 pens)

The UEFA Youth League holders took on the winners of the Copa Libertadores Sub-20 at La Bombonera in Buenos Aires on 9 September 2023.

Boca and AZ pose for a joint photo before the match
Boca and AZ pose for a joint photo before the match Rodrigo Nespolon via CONMEBOL

The Under-20 Intercontinental Cup 2023 was between Boca Juniors and AZ Alkmaar at Estadio Alberto J. Armando 'La Bombonera' in Buenos Aires on Saturday 9 September. Boca won on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

The Under-20 Intercontinental Cup pits the youth champions of Europe against their South American counterparts, in a showdown agreed after UEFA and CONMEBOL signed a renewed and extended Memorandum of Understanding on 15 December 2021.

Watch highlights

Who played in the 2023 Under-20 Intercontinental Cup?

Boca Juniors, winners of the 2023 Copa Libertadores Sub-20 in July, met AZ Alkmaar, UEFA Youth League holders.

Both teams won those competitions for the first time. However, whereas AZ had never previously won a UEFA title, Boca Juniors at senior level had claimed six Copa Libertadores, several other CONMEBOL trophies and a joint-record three European/South American Cups.

How did each team get there?

AZ earned their place in April by defeating Hajduk Split 5-0 in Geneva to win the UEFA Youth League for the first time.

Three months later, Boca Juniors overcame Ecuador's Independiente del Valle 2-0 to lift the Copa Libertadores Sub-20 trophy in La Serena, Chile.

When is the U20 Intercontinental Cup played?

The game was on Saturday 9 September 2023. It kicked off at 21:00 CET (16:00 local time).

Highlights: Boca Juniors 1-1 AZ Alkmaar (4-1 pens)

Where was the U20 Intercontinental Cup played? 

The match was at the Estadio Alberto J. Armando, popularly known as La Bombonera. With a capacity of around 54,000 and nicknamed for its chocolate box appearance, it is the regular home of Boca Juniors' senior team. The attendance was 37,386.

Among the many previous big games there were four matches in the European/South American Cup under its original two-legged format.

1968 first leg: Estudiantes de La Plata 1-0 Manchester United (agg: 2-1)
1969 second leg: Estudiantes de La Plata 2-1 AC Milan (agg: 2-4)
1970 first leg: Estudiantes de La Plata 2-2 Feyenoord (agg: 2-3)
1977 first leg: Boca Juniors 2-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach (agg: 5-2)

How did the U20 Intercontinental Cup work?

The U20 Intercontinental Cup is a one-off fixture played over 90 minutes. There was no extra time, as the tie was level at the end of regulation time it went straight to penalties. The referees for this edition were appointed by CONMEBOL.

Up to a maximum of five of the 11 substitutes listed on each team's match sheet could take part in the match. Each team had toregister at least two goalkeepers.

Each team were permitted to use a maximum of three stoppages in play to make its substitutions. Substitutions made during half-time did not reduce the number of stoppages in play that can be used.

A player who had been substituted could take no further part in the match.

The FIFA disciplinary code applied to incidents occurring during the match. However, yellow and red cards were cancelled at the end of the match and not carried forward to any other UEFA, CONMEBOL or FIFA competition.

Where to watch Boca Juniors vs AZ Alkmaar on TV and streaming

The match was streamed live on UEFA.tv in: 

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, United Kingdom

UEFA.tv is UEFA’s OTT platform, free to view behind registration. The platform is available on PlayStation (PS4 and PS5), Hisense VIDAA Smart TVs, Android and iOS (mobile and tablet), Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV as well as on web (www.uefa.tv).

The Under-20 Intercontinental Cup match also was available in the following territories via UEFA’s broadcast partners:

Belgium: Proximus
Czech Republic: AMC Networks (Sport 1)
Georgia: Silknet
Hungary: AMC Networks (Sport 1)
Netherlands: Ziggo Sport, ESPN
United Kingdom: TNT Sports

Who played in the 2022 Under-20 Intercontinental Cup?

2022 highlights: Peñarol 0-1 Benfica

Benfica, winners of the 2021/22 UEFA Youth League, triumphed 1-0 against Uruguay's Peñarol, who had claimed the 2022 Copa Libertadores Sub-20, at the famous Estádio Centenario in Montevideo in front of 40,579 fans. Substitute Luís Semedo scored the only goal with 21 minutes left.

Why was the U20 Intercontinental Cup introduced?

Watch Argentina lift Finalissima trophy

The match is part of the expansion of the cooperation between UEFA and CONMEBOL, which notably includes women's football, futsal and youth categories, the exchange of referees, technical training schemes and the Finalissima games between EURO and Copa América winners.

The first to be held was the men's Finalissima in 2022. Argentina beat Italy 3-0 at Wembley.

The same stadium staged the first Women's Finalissima in 2023, and this time the game went Europe's way as England defeated Brazil 4-2 on penalties after a dramatic 1-1 draw.

Women's Finalissima highlights: England 1-1 Brazil (4-2 pens)

There is also a men's Futsal Finalissima, first held in 2022 in Buenos Aires as a four-team tournament involving two teams each from UEFA and CONMEBOL. Both European nations won their semi-finals against South American counterparts and in the final EURO holders Portugal defeated Spain on penalties, while Paraguay overcame hosts and Copa América winners Argentina for bronze.

The U20 Intercontinental Cup has been inspired by the European/South American Cup, which was played between the winners of the CONMEBOL Libertadores and the European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League between 1960 and 2004 (and in which Peñarol defeated Benfica in 1961). The last European/South American Cup final was won by Portuguese side Porto on penalties against Once Caldas of Colombia.

Futsal Finalissima final highlights: Spain 1-1 Portugal (2-4 pens)

Another fixture, the European Club Challenge, was launched earlier this year, with the pilot edition on 19 July pitting 2022/23 UEFA Europa League winners Sevilla against the winners of the 2022 CONMEBOL Sudamericana, Independiente del Valle of Ecuador. Sevilla won on penalties.

Had the European youth champions and Copa Libertadores Sub-20 winners met before in an official showdown?

The 2022 edition was the first time the youth champions from the two contests had met in a formal, scheduled fixture.

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