The Netherlands and Iran meet in Enugu on Saturday 31 October in their final Group C contest firm in the knowledge that a win would definitely take them through to the knockout stages of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009. The Dutch, after dropping their opener, got back on track with a win over Gambia, while the Iranians have yet to lose and have four points from a win and a draw.
A win for either side on Saturday would ensure them a place in the knockout stages. The Dutch looked much improved in their last match, a 2-1 win over Gambia, after a squalid performance in their opening-day loss to Colombia. Arsenal man Oguzhan Ozyakup has been pulling the strings brilliantly in midfield, but he will need a bit of help in this final group match if the Netherlands - runners-up in European qualifying - hope to make a run deep into these finals in Nigeria.
Iran, for their part, began the tournament with a fine 2-0 win over the Gambians but fell off the pace a bit in their 0-0 draw with Colombia. Their danger men - Payam Sadeghian and Afshin Esmaeil - will need to recapture their free-flowing form if they want to be sure of booking passage to the all-important second round.
2-1 - The only scoreline that the Dutch have known here in Nigeria, losing their opener 2-1 to the Colombians in Calabar and winning by the same score in their last outing against Gambia.
"The Iranians are a strong team, and we will prepare fully to give the best possible performance we can against them. After losing our first game against Colombia we gave much better account of ourselves, and created more chances, against Gambia. Still, though, we can improve and we will try to be at our best in our final group game." Albert Stuivenberg, Netherlands coach
"We now have four points, and a win in our last game will be enough to see us through to the second round. This was our primary objective when we came here to Nigeria, so we are hoping to achieve it with a good showing in our last game. We want to at least be one of the top three finishers here, so this is the first step to getting there." Ali Doustimehr, Iran coach