Giants stroll as an Elephant charges
© Getty Images

THE DAY REPLAYED – Germany kept up their impressive form at these finals, beating Panama, scoring their 11th goal in three games and booking their place against the USA in the last 16 with a perfect record in the group stages. Following the irrepressible Germans through from Group E are Ecuador, who sent devastated African champions Burkina Faso out without a goal or a point, and first-timers Panama, whose reward for carving out a piece of history is a date with outstanding hosts Mexico who also won all of their games so far.

The second round of contests did not want for incident. Striker Souleymane Coulibaly moved another three steps close to the top-scorer laurels here at Mexico 2011 with a hat-trick in Côte d’Ivoire’s 3-3 thriller with Brazil that sends the South Americans, who equalised in the third minute of stoppage time, through as Group F winners. The Ivorian Elephants will need to wait until tomorrow to find out if they finish second or third in the section as the clash between Australia and Denmark was postponed due to extreme weather in Queretaro.

Results
Burkina Faso 0-2 Ecuador
Panama 0-2 Germany
Côte d'Ivoire 3-3 Brazil
Australia - Denmark (to be replayed at 10.00 local time tomorrow, 27 June 2011)

Goal of the day
Souleymane Coulibaly 11’, Côte d’Ivoire-Brazil
The Ivorian striker is the attacking toast of Mexico 2011. His three goals against Brazil sent Côte d’Ivoire through to the round of 16. Despite scoring a bicycle kick for his third goal, the first was the pick of the bunch. Collecting the ball out left, he brushed through Mathes as if the defender was a lace curtain, before unleashing the kind of powerful drive that could well have torn the net. Now with eight goals in three games, and seven in the last two, Coulibaly overtakes Florent Sinama Pongolle and Spain’s David as top group-stage scorer in the tournament’s history. The big striker’s performance was so appreciated by the Guadalajara crowd that he received a standing ovation for his efforts.

Memorable moments
So far but so close for Cevallos
There have been a few goals at these finals from way out of normal shooting range. First to serve up the long ball was Brian Ferreira of Argentina, who let loose a glorious chipped effort from just inside the opponents’ half against Japan. Then came the shocker of the tournament, when Canadian goalkeeper Quillan Roberts scored from deep inside his own half to seal a draw with England. Jose Cevallos of Ecuador nearly got one of his own today, but his try from well behind the halfway stripe bounced off the turf and over the bar after beating Burkinabe keeper Seni Ouedraogo.

Paulista pair pull two back
Two consolation goals in a rough day for Brazilian club giants Sao Paulo came here, in a manner of speaking, at the U-17 finals in Mexico. After the Tricolor were beaten 5-0 by Corinthians in the Brasileirao earlier today, the club’s stars of tomorrow defended the Paulista standard by producing Brazil’s first two goals in their 3-3 draw with the Ivorians. First Ademilson set up Lucas Piazon, who made no mistake, and then the provider turned scorer to send Brazil on their way to a first-place finish in Group F.

Electricity in the air in Queretaro

Australia and Denmark had all the hallmarks of an electric clash, but the metaphor turned literal in the 25th minute when Argentinian referee Diego Abal pulled both sides off as thunderclaps and lightning bolts began roaring and lighting up the sky around the Estadio Corregidora. Eventually, after more than a half-hour suspended, the Organising Committee for the tournament decided to postpone the game to tomorrow, 10.00 local time.

Goal trouble for Burkinabe
Burkina Faso had a rough time in front of goal at these finals, the African champions failing to find the net in all three of their games, the same fate suffered by continental neighbours Rwanda, who were unable to score in two losses and a draw in Group C in Pachuca. In total, the Burkinabe have not scored a goal at a FIFA U-17 World Cup in 334 minutes, stretching back to their last appearance at Nigeria 2009.

The stat
70 –
Mitchell Weiser’s goal in the 39th minute was a landmark for rampaging Germany. The defender’s strike was the 70th goal in the history of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, an average of two goals per game. The junior Nationalmannschaft have also not conceded in their last nine games of this competition, in which they qualified for the second round in six of their eight attempts.

Up next
Australia-Denmark (Queretaro, 10.00)

Round of 16 line-up so far
Uzbekistan-BEF
Brazil-Ecuador
Congo-Uruguay
Japan-New Zealand
Germany-USA
England-Argentina
France-2F
Mexico-Panama