New boys Tajikstan challenge USA

Tajikistan, making their first appearance in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, face the United States, who have qualified for every global tournament in the age category.

The match
Tajikistan v. USA, Monday 20 August, 20:00 (Changwon).

The stakes
All eyes will be on Alex Nimo to see whether he can continue his fine form from the CONCACAF qualifers when he scored three times. Ten of Tajikistan's starting eleven ply their trade for domestic club Dynamo Dushanbe so they will be well used to each other. The Tajiks will be hoping goal machine Davrondzhon Tukhtasunov can put his recent drought behind him and find the net again.

The players
Both sides should be able to field their strongest team for their opening match.

The past
The two sides have never met before. While Tajikistan are making their debut FIFA U-17 World Cup appearance, USA have qualified for each of the 12 previous tournaments.

The birthdays
The youngest member of the USA team, Gregory Garza, and the only professional in the squad, Abdusalem Ibrahim of FC Dallas, turned 16 last Thursday and Wednesday respectively. Both players are currently playing in the state of Texas.

The words
"America are a strong side and deserve to be respected, but we are here to play our football. I want my team to play as well as they did in Singapore." Pulod Kodirov, Tajikistan coach.

"I didn't have the opportunity to watch Tajikistan play, so it was difficult to prepare for this match. However, we just need to focus on our job. I am sure it will be a good game." John Hackworth, USA coach.