FIFA U-17 World Cup: Germany battle to survive; Spain, Niger fight for one spot
Kolkata: They started as the tournament favourites but a 0-4 thrashing at the hands of Iran dented their confidence and now Germany finds themselves in a do-or-die situation against Guinea with the latter aiming for nothing less than a win. Germany take on Guinea in their last match of Group E at the Jawaharlal Nehru International stadium in Kochi and both sides face the prospect of a early elimination if they fail to win their match.
The frailties in the German midfield was evident as the Die Mannschaft players failed to keep up the pace with Iranian wingers and midfielders leading to a embarrassing loss. “None of my players reached the level at which they could play. Iran started very fast and aggressively. My players got scared and showed too much respect to the opponents. After the match, I told my players to get over this disappointment and think about the Guinea match,” said coach Wuck.
The margin could have been more if not for goalkeeper Luca Plogmann, who made some important saves in the match and he along with captain Jan Fiete-Arp who will want to put on his goal-scoring boots and get going will be their main players.
Guinea on the other hand has failed to win a single match in the tournament so far and only a win against Germany can guarantee them a place in the round of 16. They were dominant against Cost Rica in the previous match, but the profligacy of their forwards to score goals, ended in them missing a good opportunity to win despite having 42 shots on goal. They are aware of the task at hand but will draw inspiration from Iran who outclassed the Germans. Forward Fandje Toure, who has scored two goals in the tournament will once again be their main man in attack.
Iran vs Costa Rica
Costa Rica have so far been a tough side to beat with their team unity and tough defence. Against Germany they succumbed to a last minute winner but against Guinea their defence was organised holding on to several attacks from Guinea. They however face a different Iran side on Thursday at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Margao, who are bubbling with confidence after shambling Germany.
They find themselves in a must win situation and only a win can lead them to the knock-out rounds. Containing the duo of Allahyar Sayyad and Younes Delfi who are breathing with fire will be the main task for Les Ticos.
Iran on the other hand, have already qualified for the round of 16 after beating both Guinea and Germany in their opening two matches. They will aim to continue their unbeaten run in the tournament and will also try and rest few important players for the upcoming knock-out matches.
Spain vs Korea DPR
2017 U-17 Euro champions Spain put up a dominant performance against Niger defeating them 4-0 and will look to maintain the same run when they face Korea DPR in their final match of Group D at the JN stadium on Thursday. Although they need just a draw to qualify from the group, it will not come easy. La Roja are heavily Dependent on captain Abel Ruiz, but Sergio Gomez and Ferran Torres looked good in the last match and coach Garcia will expect the to step up on the occasion.
Korea DPR erstwhile are almost out of the contention after having suffered two back to back losses, but still a big win against Spain can help them qualify to the knock-out rounds. Despite both the defeats, their defence however has been in fine form and as coach, Kim Yong-su once again expects them to contain the impressive Spanish attack.
Brazil vs Niger
The best placed team in Group D, Brazil has already qualified for the Knock-out rounds. The Samba boys will however look to enter the qualifiers with a 100 percent win record. It was not a great start to the tournament, when they missed their biggest star, Vinicius Junior. But the rest of the boys led by a rampant Lincoln and Paulinho have performed in style.
Niger on the other hand began their campaign with a win against Korea but suffered a heart-breaking loss against Spain. Although tough they are just one win away from qualifying, but has to beat Brazil by a big margin given Spain are also expected to win their match.
Live from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, Margao:
Iran vs Costa Rica – 5:00 p.m.
Brazil vs Niger – 8:00 p.m.
Live from Jawaharlal Nehru International stadium, Kochi:
Germany vs Guinea – 5:00 p.m.
Spain vs Korea DPR -8:00 p.m.