Despite promising displays, particularly in the first half, in their respective Group F openers at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011, neither Côte d’Ivoire nor Denmark were able to avoid kicking off their campaigns with defeat. Both teams will be determined to keep the fine football flowing come Thursday’s meeting at the Estadio Guadalajara, but taking all three points must be the priority.
Côte d’Ivoire-Denmark, Thursday 23 June, 20.00 (Brasilia time), Guadalajara
Guadalajara is fortunate enough to play host to a section featuring four gifted and attack-minded national teams. Proof of this is the fact that the Ivorians and the Danes both enjoyed periods of dominance and created plenty of danger in their opening games against Australia and Brazil respectively, only to end up the losing sides.
Going into the second round of Group F games, youngsters to look out for on the Côte d’Ivoire side are forward Drissa Diarrassouba and attacking midfielder Victorien Angban, as well as their Danish counterparts Viktor Fischer and Christian Norgaard. All four boast fine technique, both in terms of dribbling ability and the ease with which they combine with team-mates to get shots in on goal. If this talented quartet can build on their encouraging opening performances, spectators should be in for a highly enjoyable spectacle.
36 – This was the combined number of shots Côte d’Ivoire and Denmark had in their opening games, with 14 of those on target. All of which underlines how key Aussie goalkeeper Paul Izzo and Brazilian No1 Charles were to their respective sides’ victories.
“Our plans have changed now after that reverse, and our strategy may now be to set our sights on qualifying as one of the best third-placed sides. I’m hoping we can get a positive result against Denmark, and after that I’ll think about Brazil,” Côte d’Ivoire coach Alain Gouamene.
“It’s a difficult time waiting for the next match. But of course we’re going to talk to them a lot and get our heads up again in time to play Côte d’Ivoire. It’s tough, but that’s football. We’ve got to look to pick up at least a point in our next game,” Denmark coach Thomas Frank.