Germany’s opening 6-1 win over Ecuador in Group E at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011 powerfully underlined their trophy credentials. A win over Burkina Faso in their second match would effectively see them into the last sixteen. By contrast, the African champions are already under pressure after losing their first game 1-0 to Panama.
The teams have never met before at any level, junior or senior, so Thursday’s Estadio Corregidora clash is a premiere. In light of the results from the first round of matches, the Europeans start as overwhelming favourites. Coach Steffen Freund’s team appear to be fully at ease with the heat and the altitude, and are inspired rather than intimidated by the prospect of a 23,000 crowd. "My lads had never played in front of a crowd like this before. It was really exciting for them," Freund said in the aftermath of his team’s thumping win.
By contrast, the African champions are fighting for their tournament lives. The 1-0 defeat to newcomers Panama means Burkina Faso urgently need a result, and preferably a win. Despite their opening-day defeat, the Young Stallions can take pride in the fact that they were ahead in all the important stats, dominating possession and winning the shot and corner counts – but they lost out in the truly important tally, the number of goals scored.
6 – Germany’s 6-1 win over Ecuador marked the most-goals scored for the Europeans in a FIFA U-17 World Cup match, beating their 5-0 success against Trinidad.
"African football has developed very well in recent years, and coming through African qualifying is far from easy. Burkina Faso won the CAF U-17 championship, and that alone tells you how strong they are," Germany coach Steffen Freund.
"We still have two games to play, and everything’s still possible. Despite losing the first game, I think we still have a great team. I’ll tell my team to go out there and do their best," Burkina Faso coach Rui Pereira.