Group F at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007 will get under way on Monday, with Colombia taking on Germany at the Cheonan Sports Complex. The South Americans finished fourth at the 2003 tournament in Finland, while this is the first time that Germany have made it through to the final phase of a FIFA U-17 World Cup since 1999. Both teams have their eyes on a place in the last 16, so this should be an exciting and open game.
Colombia - Germany, Cheonan, Monday, 20 August, 17h00 (local time)
Both Germany and Colombia will be looking for three points to open their accounts at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007. Group F also includes two other tough teams: Ghana, who came second in the CAF U-17 Championship, and Trinidad and Tobago, who while being outsiders are an unknown quantity, so Colombia and Germany both need to get off to a winning start. Colombia are many people's tip to go all the way after their excellent performances in the South American qualifiers, while the Germans will be eager to prove their worth on the global stage.
Both teams have full squads at their disposal.
This will be the first time that the teams have met at a FIFA youth tournament. Germany are currently on a run of seven matches without a win at FIFA U-17 World Cups, their last victory dating back to 7 September 1997, when they beat Thailand 3-0. Since then, they have only managed four draws and three defeats. Colombia on the other hand have never won their opening match at a FIFA U-17 World Cup. They drew 1-1 with Guinea in 1989 and 0-0 with Mexico in 2003, while in 1993 they went down 0-2 to Qatar.
"Germany are a very strong team with a number of good players. We've already been watching a few videos of them. My lads are really looking forward to the tournament getting under way. They want to show what they're capable of at a World Cup." Eduardo Lara, Colombia coach
"The Colombians will be tough opposition. In the qualifiers, they drew 0-0 with Brazil and got more points than Argentina. They are incredibly solid at the back and are quick on the break. But we've been preparing specifically for this match and we're going into the tournament with a lot of confidence." Heiko Herrlich, Germany coach