The Paulista University of Brazil fulfilled the predictions that placed it as a favorite to win the FISU Soccer World Cup. The same forecasts placed Ukraine as a finalist and therefore it was a very close match that had to be resolved in the penalty shootout.
With the Jinjiang Park stadium packed, the daring Paulista team was able to withstand the orderly defensive armament of the Ukrainian SUTE, which had reached the final as the highest scoring team with 13 goals and thanks to a 2-0 victory over the champions of the last edition of Uruguay, the University of the Republic, in the semifinals. Paulista, which had finished in seventh place in 2019, had to overcome penalties in its semifinal to beat Korea’s Myongji University.
It all started in the 29th minute with a shot from Oleksandr Savchuk that came in off the right post to give SUTE a 1-0 lead. The lead was almost extended moments later when a cross from the tournament’s leading scorer, Denys Kruhl, almost connected with Mykyta Komisar. SUTE continued to drop back in defense after the break and did not concede anything to Paulista, but, as they had done throughout the tournament, the opportunistic Brazilians showed their quick attack. With 20 minutes left, Guimaraes sent a perfectly placed pass to Diego Miticov Rocha in the box, who quickly sent a pass in front of the SUTE goal to Matheus Soares Nascimento, who scored his fourth goal of the tournament. Without a very brilliant game, Paulista managed to tie the contest.
In the final minutes, both teams exchanged scoring opportunities but the score did not move. Extra time arrived, and opportunities came from both sides.
The best of all came in the 115th minute, when SUTE’s Serhii Maksymets’ first shot was saved by Rodrigues Silva, a second attempt by Petro Savchuk was stopped on the line by Paulista defender Igor Neves Valencio and a third attempt was sent in to the line by Andrii Hryb, but Matheus Novais da Silva managed to clear it again.
Paulista’s incredible defense kept the score at 1-1 and took the final to penalties.
Tied 4-4 after the first ten shots, with SUTE needing a goal to equalize, goalkeeper Yaroslav Protsenko was sent to the penalty spot. His attempt, stopped by his counterpart Rodrigues Silva, ensured victory and the gold medal for Universidad Paulista in an exciting final.
In the bronze medal match, a 90th-minute goal by Universidad de la República de Uruguay forward Nicolas Stirling led them to a 2-1 victory over Myongji University of Korea. This bronze is added to the gold that the University of the Republic won in 2019.
Men’s Final: Paulista University (BRA) vs. State University of Commerce and Economics (UKR) 7:6 (6:5 on penalties)