In Group F at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007, fans can
expect great excitement from start to finish. Colombia caused an
upset in the qualifying rounds of the South American U-17
Championship by beating Argentina to second place with a
hard-fought 0-0 draw against champions Brazil.
Ghana took third place in the African U-17 Championship and are already a major force in this age range: the Black Starlets have so far qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup seven times, taking the title in 1991 and 1995. After an eight-year gap, Germany's U-17 side have managed to qualify for the global showcase again and are eager to do well, whereas outsiders Trinidad and Tobago are looking to cause a few upsets, just like their senior team did at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Germany.
The fixtures (all kick-off times are local)
Colombia - Germany, Cheonan, August 20, 17:00.
Trinidad and Tobago - Ghana, Cheonan, August 20, 20:00.
Ghana - Germany, Cheonan, August 23, 17:00.
Trinidad and Tobago - Colombia, Cheonan, August 23, 20:00.
Colombia - Ghana, Ulsan, August 26, 19:00.
Germany - Trinidad and Tobago, August 26, Changwon, 19:00.
How they qualified
Ghana: Third in the 2007 African U-17 Championship in Togo
Germany: Fifth in the 2007 UEFA U-17 European Championship in Belgium
Colombia: Second in the 2007 South American U-17 Championship in Ecuador
Trinidad and Tobago: Third in the CONCACAF Qualifying Group B in Jamaica
The first four games in Group F take place in Cheonan. The 'City of Heavenly Peace', as Cheonan is also known, is situated some 85 kilometres south of Seoul in the North-East of Chungcheongnam-do province. Heavenly peace will be temporarily disturbed, however, when Ghana, Germany, Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago battle it out for places in the last sixteen of the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The matches will take place in the Cheonan Sports Complex, which was built for South Korea's National Athletics Championships in 2001 and has a capacity of 26,000 seats.
The crunch match: Colombia - Ghana, Ulsan, August 26, 19:00
The most intriguing match in Group F is between Colombia and Ghana on the third and last day of group fixtures. The match between the South American runners-up and Africa's third best team should be a hard-fought battle for a place in the last 16, but also a game of the highest quality.
Colombia have already shown their class in the qualifying round when they were both sound in defence and dangerous on the attack. Eduardo Lara's team is more than capable of emulating the country's achievement in Finland 2003, when the Cafeteros came fourth in what was their most recent appearance in a FIFA U-17 World Cup. Meanwhile, Ghana are looking for a third world title in this age range and will start the competition with confidence high after an impressive showing in the African Championship.
The opening gambit
Heiko Herrlich, Germany's coach says: "I'm really looking forward to the competition. For many players the World Cup is the pinnacle of their football career. I expect our players to have the kind of will to win that can turn tight games in our favour."