Two continents will collide in Sharjah on Saturday as the second installment of quarter-finals at the FIFA U-17 World Cup UAE 2013 serves up a pair of fixtures never before contested at this level. For Argentina, that means a meeting with tenacious hopefuls Côte d'Ivoire, the South American side having settled into a menacing rhythm after a nervy start as they aim to lift the trophy for the first time.
Three-time winners Nigeria also look to be serious challengers for the title but will have to navigate their way past Uruguay, never a straightforward proposition in any tournament.
2 November - quarter-finals
Argentina-Côte d'Ivoire (Sharjah, Sharjah Stadium, 17.00)
Uruguay-Nigeria (Sharjah, Sharjah Stadium, 20.00)
Côte d'Ivoire's Junior Ahissan struck the winning goal against Morocco but also picked up another yellow card, ruling him out of the Argentina match. Ibrahima Kamara's charges will thus be missing a key presence in midfield.
Match of the day
Of the four teams in action on Saturday only Nigeria have won the title, and the African side have certainly lived up to their billing as genuine contenders since the start of the tournament. At the end of the Round of 16, the Golden Eaglets boasted the joint most prolific attack along with Brazil, having helped themselves to 18 goals in four games. They enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 success against Iran in the last round to reach this far, but can expect a sterner test against Uruguay.
Indeed, La Celeste were likewise impressive in the last 16, making their quality count against a fragile Slovakia side who finally found their bearings too late to influence the outcome. The South American hopefuls may boast a less illustrious record than their rivals, but they have raised their profile in recent editions of the competition, twice sealing quarter-final spots before finishing runners-up to Mexico in 2011. The statistics all point to a well-balanced encounter, with Uruguay having conceded four goals compared to five for Nigeria, even if they have scored four goals fewer.
The other game
Along with Sweden, Côte d'Ivoire are the only third-placed team from the group stage still involved. Having struck six goals so far, the African champions may not be the most explosive side going forward, but they have made solid progress through the competition thanks to an ironclad defence and supremely dense midfield.
The Baby Elephants stifled Morocco's attacking potential in the Round of 16 but can expect a thorough examination from an Argentina side boasting individual talents who can change a game in the blink of an eye – as they proved against Tunisia. La Albiceleste remain unbeaten so far and have built up an impressive head of steam after making a slow start.
Player to watch
Meite Yakou (CIV)
On the books at Paris Saint-Germain, the attacking midfielder is the only member of the Ivorian squad who plays his club football overseas. For his country, Yakou enjoys a starting berth on the left side of the attack and won his team the early penalty that got them up and running against Morocco in the last 16. A constant danger for opposition defences, he's also weighed in with a goal and an assist since the start of the tournament, and will be anxious to make a decisive contribution against Argentina.
9 – Nigeria have reached the quarter-finals nine times in ten U-17 World Cup appearances, only falling short in 2003 when they finished third in their group.
"It's now Côte d'Ivoire's turn to take us on, and they have plenty of good reasons to be wary. We have solid foundations in defence and we've found the right mixture in attack. For me, the most important thing is to have reached this stage of the competition and to be playing a fifth match," Humberto Grondona, Argentina coach.