It looks like a classic David and Goliath match-up on paper, between unfancied Congo, who did not even have a U-20 side two years ago, and a brilliant Mexican side that have been together since the age of 15.

Likewise, El Tri go in to the match as FIFA U-17 world champions, whereas the Red Devils perhaps surprised themselves by surviving the group stage, but anyone expecting the Africans to roll over and accept defeat has clearly not seen them in action. They will pit their excellent teamwork and staggering will to win against the well-oiled Mexican machine in Montreal, which is probably why the favourites from North America, although relaxed, remain suitably wary of the barrier in their path.

The game
Mexico v Congo, Montreal, 12 July, 19.45 (local time)

The stakes
The Mexicans will be out to cross another bridge en route to the title, having made it clear from the outset that they are in Canada to win the trophy. Jesus Ramirez's charges insist they are not feeling the pressure, but an entire nation expects them to register a victory, whereas the Congolese know victory for them would be a massive upset. The Africans are happy to be seen as underdogs and will do all they can to set up a quarter-final showdown with either Argentina or Poland in Ottawa on 15 July.

The players
Neither side goes in to the game burdened by injury concerns, but Congo will again be missing defender Yann Kombo, who picked up a two-game suspension for his sending-off against Chile.

The past
These two countries have only crossed paths once, at the FIFA U-17 World Championship in 1991. The Africans emerged 2-1 victors on that occasion, but they have never progressed this far in a FIFA competition before, having been sent home after the group stage at U-17 level in both 1985 and 1991.

The birthdays
Jacques Loparimi, who takes over from Yann Kombo in defence, will be celebrating his 20th birthday on the day of the match.

The words
"For now, I haven't thought about making the slightest change, but I'll have to see what physical shape my troops are in. Whatever happens, though, I'll stick to pretty much the same team. We've watched the tapes of Congo's games, but the important thing is that we'll be giving our all." Jesus Ramirez, Mexico coach.

"We've studied the way they play and they're similar to the Gambians, so we think we're capable of winning if we play the way we can. It will be another step on the road to the title." Christian Bermudez, Mexico striker.

"We've played well so far and I think if we continue in the same fashion we'll get through to the quarter-finals." Efrain Juarez, Mexico defender.

"The spine of this Mexico side is very strong, but their style of play suits us well and I strongly believe we can beat them." Eddie Hudanski, Congo coach.