Turkey battle with China for spot in semis
Caner Erkin's last-minute winner against Mexico on Thursday meant Turkey had the honour of qualifying top of Group B of the FIFA U-17 World Championship Peru 2005, though that did give them something of an additional burden with their travel plans.
Had they not clinched victory, they would have the luxury of staying on at their hotel headquarters in Piura for the quarter-finals, but what his players may miss out on in terms of rest, they will more than gain from the rich experience of visiting Iquitos in the Amazon jungle this weekend.
In any event, they will not be at any physical disadvantage in terms of tiredness as Sunday's opponents China have made exactly the same journey after their progression from Group A courtesy of a 1-1 draw against Ghana at the Miguel Grau Stadium.
Turkey coach Abdullah Avci declared himself to be unconcerned with whoever his quarter-final opponents are as he preferred to focus instead on the good form of his own young stars. He said: "What's important is that my players are doing well. We are not worried about the other team."
Avci rested seven players against Mexico, so he will revert to a more familiar line up at the new purpose-built Max Augustin Stadium in Iquitos.
China have come in for some stinging criticism for their style of play, particularly against Peru and Ghana, where they smothered the game and held on for a narrow win and a tense draw respectively. Their time-wasting tactics also upset the watching public in Piura, but coach Zhang Ning will not worry as he feels the only significant thing is for his team to keep making progress.
China out to extend learning process
Ning will surely believe China's progress justifies his methods and he said: "We have no specific expectations about how far we will go now. We just want the players to keep learning from the experience of taking part in these international matches."
He is pleased to have star goalkeeper Dalei Wang back in his team after suspension, though he will hope Wang is not going to be as busy as his replacement Wenyi Chi was against Ghana, when China were forced to defend for most of the game despite facing only 10 men for 70 minutes.
This will be the fourth encounter between Turkey and China in a FIFA competition, but the first in the U-17 finals. The most recent meeting was a 2:1 win for China in Utrecht at the FIFA World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005.
This year's tournament sees China qualifying for the U-17 quarter-finals for the second time; their previous progression came in the 1985 tournament on home soil.
Turkey are only the second European team to have won all three of their U-17 group matches, equalling Spain's performance in 1997. Apart from that inaugural edition in China back in 1985, when Argentina won all of their first-stage matches, Turkey are the first newcomers to have achieved this feat in U-17 history.