Before the tournament began, both Spain and Colombia would have been thrilled to know they would still be involved on the final day of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009. And though defeats in their respective semi-finals will have been hard to swallow, the opportunity to claim third-place medals and a spot on the podium should provide ample motivation to end their African adventures on a high.
Colombia are just a 90 minutes away from achieving their highest placing at a FIFA U-17 World Cup, their previous best coming at Finland 2003, when they lost the third-place play-off to Argentina. Up against Spanish-speaking opposition again this time, Ramiro Viafara faces a tough task to lift his charges' morale after their emphatic 4-0 semi-final defeat by Switzerland.
For their part, Gines Melendez's Spain were beaten 3-1 by hosts Nigeria in their semi-final – a repeat of the decider at Korea 2007. In addition to the prospect of a third-place medal, La Rojita's five-goal leading scorer Borja has another target to aim at: the adidas Golden Shoe.
As far as absentees go, Los Cafeteros' Santiago Arias will miss out after his red card against the Swiss, though team-mate Fabian Castillo and Spain's Marc Muniesa both return after serving their suspensions.
12 – The number of years since Spain last finished third at a FIFA U-17 World Cup. At Egypt 1997, the Iberian youngsters beat Germany 2-1 to claim the final berth on the podium.
"When you lose a semi-final so convincingly, it makes it hard to lift the players' morale. But now's not the time to feel dejected. Instead we must focus on all the positive things we've done so far. When we touched down in Nigeria nobody expected us to reach the last four and yet there we were, battling it out for a place in the final. Now we have to try and finish third, something Colombia have never done before (at a FIFA U-17 World Cup)." Ramiro Viafara, Colombia coach
"We'd seen ourselves reaching the final so of course we're still hurting. But now that we're here the ideal thing would be to round off this experience with a good game of football and a medal round our necks. We have to pick ourselves up quickly and give it everything we've got. We've got no choice." Isco, Spain midfielder