With the first phase of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007 drawing to a close on Sunday, FIFA.com takes a look at the teams and the players who rewrote the record books over the course of 36 matches.
Nine minutes into his side's Korea 2007 campaign, Mykell Bates scored the 1,100th goal in FIFA U-17 World Cup history to give USA an early lead against Tajikistan, who nonetheless recovered to become the only one of seven newcomers to win on their tournament debut. The River City Clash defender's maiden effort did add another milestone to the collection of USA, from whom Ryan Soroka netted the event's 1,000th goal at Peru 2005 and Ben Crawley its 100th 20 years ago in Canada.
Korea 2007's century goal went to Macauley Chrisantus, who finished the first phase as the competition's leading marksman on five goals. The Nigerian striker will now have one eye on Frenchman Florent Sinama-Pongolle's nine-goal competition record, which he set at Trinidad and Tobago 2001.
When it comes to landmark strikes, though, none jump off the page as conspicuously as Brazil's opening goal on Korean soil. When Fabinho got off the mark after an astonishing nine seconds against New Zealand, not only did he unseat his compatriot and Peru 2005 standout Celsinho as the FIFA U-17 World Cup's fastest-ever scorer, but he recorded the quickest goal in the history of FIFA finals tournaments, dropping Hakan Sukur's 11-second strike for Turkey against Korea Republic in the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ third place playoff into the runners-up position.
The African pair of Nigeria and Tunisia managed to progress to the knockout phase with 100 percent records. It was, in fact, the third time that the West Africans had achieved the feat, following their perfect starts in 1993 and 2001. For their part, Tunisia joined a club which already included Australia (1985), Brazil (1991, 1997, 2001), USA (1991), Ghana (1993, 1995), Argentina (1995, 2003), Spain (1997), Turkey (2001) and the Nigerians.
Peru became only the fifth side to finish the first phase having failed to concede, following in the footsteps of Nigeria (1985, 1989, 1993), Hungary (1985), Brazil (1991, 1995), Argentina (1995, 1997, 2003). Brazil led the way for goals scored during the group stage, the Seleção's 14-goal haul supassed only by Spain's return of 17 in three games at Egypt 1997.
Despite the three-time champions' free-scoring expolits, Group F, which comprised Germany, Ghana, Colombia and Trinidad and Tobago, yielded the most goals. Moreover, the 29 the quartet posted between them was the joint-second best a first phase pool has produced, outranked only by the 32 netted in Group B at Egypt 1997.
There has also been no shortage of late drama in the 36 matches to date. Of the 122 goals scored, 25 have arrived in the last ten minutes of matches. As the old saying goes, 'it ain't over till it's over'. The 16 remaining teams would be advised to take heed of this as they go in search of glory.