Group B: A tale of drama and drubbings
© Foto-net

When the draw was made for the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007 on Thursday 17 May, Group B was one which immediately caught the attention of football aficionados worldwide. It was expected to be a close group and so it proved to be, with England pipping Brazil to top spot in the final minute of the match.

The final standings
1. England, seven points
2. Brazil, six points
3. Korea DPR, four points
4. New Zealand, zero points

What's next
England - Syria, Jeju, Thursday 30 August, 20:00 (local time)
Ghana - Brazil, Gwangyang, Thursday 30 August, 20:00 (local time)
Spain - Korea DPR, Ulsan, Wednesday 29 August, 17:00 (local time)

The tale of the teams
England: John Peacock's meticulous preparations on and off the pitch paid off handsomely as the Three Lions finished atop of the section's summit by virtue of their 2-1 win over Brazil in Goyang. After looking less than convincing in their draw against Korea DPR, the side clicked into gear to devastating effect in the first half of their match against New Zealand, before executing their gameplan to perfection against the samba starlets.

Brazil: Following comprehensive victories over New Zealand and Korea DPR, the south American champions underlined their status as one of the favourites to win the tournament. Yet it wasn't just the margin of the victories, but the free-flowing football on display was a joy to watch. Against England, they ultimately came unstuck, but Lucho Nizzo and his 21-man squad are determined not to lose another game in their quest for glory in this competition.

KoreaDPR: The Asian Zone runners-up arrived at this tournament as an unknown quantity, but quickly showed their pedigree against England. Their 89th-minute equaliser, scored by Rim Mun Chol was deserved, but the Koreans struggled to build on the draw in their next match, losing 6-1 to a Brazil side in full flow. A 1-0 win over New Zealand was enough to take them to the Round of 16 and keep coach An Ye Gun's dream of reaching the semi-finals very much alive.

New Zealand: Colin Tuaa's side may have arrived at the event as champions of their particular region, but their defensive frailties were all too cruelly exposed against the might of Brazil and England, who together scored 12 goals past the All Whites. Credit to the spirited youngsters, they showed good organisation and spirit to hold Korea DPR for 80 minutes, but a defensive mix-up allowed Rim to score his second of the competition and consign the Kiwis to a third successive defeat.

Moments to savour
• The welcome that each side received on landing in Jeju. Each delegation received a bouquet of flowers. "If I had taken them home and given them to my wife she would have been very pleased," England coach John Peacock joked.

• The sight of the Korea DPR team running to celebrate with coach An Ye Gun following their dramatic equaliser against England. "The players and the coaching staff are like brothers," beamed An afterwards.

• It is very rare in football these days when you hear a crowd gasp in excitement, but this is exactly what happened when Brazil swept to a 6-1 victory over Korea DPR. "I'm proud to coach this group of players," said Lucho Nizzo afterwards.

• Tales' free-kick, a carbon copy of Ronaldinho's effort during the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan gave Brazil the lead against England, but unfortunate keeper Alex Smithies had the last laugh as he superbly saved a Lulinha penalty to help his side to a 2-1 win.

• The meeting of the four coaches and captains, together with representatives of FIFA and the LOC to recognise the friendly spirit between the Group B teams at the venue hotel in Jeju.

The numbers game
The fans at the FIFA World Cup Stadium Jeju were treated to no fewer than 21 goals in the four Group B matches, an average of 5.25 goals per game.

The closing remarks
"We set the initial objective of winning the group, we have done that. The next objective is to win our game in the Round of 16. Ultimately the goal is to win the World Cup. If we play to our potential there is no reason why we can't do that," Jordan Spence, England captain.