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Boca Juniors 1-1 AZ Alkmaar (4-1 pens): Hosts win Under-20 Intercontinental Cup 2023 in shoot-out

Boca Juniors came from behind to hold AZ Alkmaar before claiming the trophy at La Bombonera on penalties.

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

Boca Juniors delighted the Estadio Alberto J. Armando 'La Bombonera' in Buenos Aires by beating AZ Alkmaar on penalties to win the Under-20 Intercontinental Cup.

A year ago, UEFA Youth League holders Benfica travelled to Libertadores Sub-20 winners Peñarol and prevailed 1-0 in the inaugural edition. This time, though, it was the South American hosts that got the better of the European visitors despite AZ leading at half-time.

Key moments

42' Deflected Kwakman strike gives AZ lead against run of play
52' Ignacio Rodríguez forces Owusu-Oduro save
58' Mastoras own goal levels scores
Shoot-out Díaz Robles saves twice, Fascendini wins it

Match in brief

Backed by a lively 37,386 crowd at La Bombonera, Boca had most of the early possession, while AZ lost Nick Twisk to injury within 20 minutes. Mauricio Benítez sent a header wide as Boca camped in AZ territory, so it was rather a surprise just before half-time when Walter Goes found Dave Kwakman, whose long-range shot took a deflection off Lautaro Di Lollo and flew past Sebastián Díaz Robles.

The two teams pose together before the match
The two teams pose together before the matchRodrigo Nespolon via CONMEBOL

Despite that setback, Boca kept up the pace early in the second half. The two-goal hero of their Libertadores Sub-20 final win against Independiente del Valle, Ignacio Rodríguez, twice went close, the second chance a solo run followed by a shot saved by Rome Jayden Owusu-Oduro. Just before the hour mark, the AZ goalkeeper was beaten as a crossed Benítez free-kick was turned into his own net by Enoch Mastoras under pressure from Nahuel Génez.

The game ended up in a penalty shoot-out, and Díaz Robles saved from both Maxim Dekker and Kees Smit before Valentín Fascendini converted to clinch victory for Boca.

Over 37,000 Boca fans cheered their team to victory
Over 37,000 Boca fans cheered their team to victoryRodrigo Nespolon via CONMEBOL
As it happened: Boca Juniors 1-1 AZ Alkmaar (4-1 pens)


Sebastián Díaz Robles, Boca goalkeeper: "I've been at Boca since I was six years old, I see this and it's crazy! This is Boca and Boca win finals!"

Lewis Schouten, AZ defender: "It was a difficult match. We came through on penalties in the Youth League [semi-final against Sporting CP]. It can happen, we stick together, we are family. It's tough, there aren't many words. Today we didn't shoot the penalties well."

AZ celebrate their goal
AZ celebrate their goalGetty Images


Boca Juniors: Díaz Robles; Acosta, Di Lollo, Fascendini, Génez; Benítez (Ramallo 68), Gauna, Ceballos; Saralegui (R Rodríguez 73), I Rodríguez (Simomi 73), Rivero (Vázquez 80)

AZ Alkmaar: Owusu-Oduro; Goes, Dekker, Schouten; Mastoras (Van Aken 62), Twisk (Postma 18, Smit 46), Kwakman, Stam; Addai (Koster 84), Meerdink, Poku

2023/24 Youth League

The new UEFA Youth League season kicks off on 19 September and runs until April, with 64 teams competing for the title which AZ won for the first time in 2022/23. The competition will then expand in 2024/25.