Costa Rica and Togo out to strike first blow

In the football-mad Korean city of Suwon, the fans flocking to the Suwon Sports Complex can expect plenty of fireworks as two teams with vastly contrasting styles kick off the action in Group A. At stake for Costa Rica and Togo, three vital points to open their Korea 2007 campaign.

The game
Costa Rica vs. Togo, 18 August, 17:00 (local time), Suwon

The stakes
The Ticos, regular participants at this level, return to the FIFA U-17 World Cup stage buoyed by their performances at Peru 2005, where they pushed eventual winners Mexico all the way in the quarter-finals. Togo's Young Sparrowhawks will be looking to build on the solid efforts of the senior side at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™.

The players
Ahead of their opening game, both the Central Americans and their African opponents are at full strength as they look to get off to a flying start to the competition.

The past
Costa Rica and Togo have never played each other before at any age level, in competitive or friendly action.

The words
"I think our team's good enough to achieve big things. We've enough competitive experience under our belts and if we can improve on our performances in qualifying in Jamaica, then we can go really far." Alejandro Castro, Costa Rica forward.

"We've got a solid team, with very good players and we're confident that we can surprise everybody in Korea." James Loembe, Togo defender.