THE DAY REPLAYED – In beating Australia and Burkina Faso respectively, Brazil and Germany advanced to the knockout stages of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Mexico 2011.
The Brazilians sealed their passage by virtue of a marvelous free kick from Flamengo forward Adryan, which propelled the South American side to a tightly-contested 1-0 triumph, and sent them to the top of Group F with six points in the process. In the same section, Côte d’Ivoire twice came from behind to see off a stubborn Danish team, and still hold their destiny in their own hands. The game’s outstanding player by far was Souleymane Coulibaly, who notched all four of his side’s goals in a remarkable individual performance.
Germany, meanwhile, again demonstrated their attacking prowess in Group E by comprehensively dismissing Burkina Faso 3-0, a result that booked a place in the next round. In the pool’s other encounter, Ecuador overcame the setback of going a goal down to Panama to eventually emerge 2-1 winners. The Central Americans’ chances of progressing will depend on the outcome of their third and final match with Burkina Faso, who prop up the group on zero points.
Burkina Faso 0-3 Germany
Panama 1-2 Ecuador
Australia 0-1 Brazil
Côte d’Ivoire 4-2 Denmark
Goal of the day
Souleymane Coulibaly, 23’, Côte d’Ivoire-Denmark
When on-song Ivoirian ace Coulibaly reached the byline and stopped the ball dead, Danish defender Frederik Holst appeared to be anticipating just one thing: a cross into the box. However, the Siena player had other ideas, taking on and beating his man with a combination of speed and skill and, from a seemingly impossible angle, dispatching a powerful shot past the flat-footed opposition goalkeeper. Coulibaly would go on to find the net on three further occasions, thereby becoming just the third player to score four goals in a FIFA U-17 World Cup game.
Despite having managed it in their opening match, Australia have historically had trouble in games where they have fallen behind. In fact, out of 12 games at this event in which the Joeys have conceded the first goal, nine have ended in defeat, with one finishing with the scores level. Côte d’Ivoire, on the other hand, turned the record books on their head by beating Denmark, as it was the first time in four meetings that the Africans have managed to get the better of a European side.
Prior to their match with Côte d’Ivoire, the Danish national anthem was accompanied by the deafening noise of a large group of female Mexican fans, who appeared extremely taken with the sight of the Scandinavian players. The extra encouragement initially appeared to have inspired Thomas Frank’s boys, who broke the deadlock in the 9th minute. Kenneth Zohore’s deflected goal was Denmark’s first at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, but it did not prevent them from losing the match and remaining rooted to the bottom of their group.
Dancing in the rain
As half-time approached in the Panama-Ecuador clash, the city of Queretaro was hit by a violent downpour. Most spectators ran for shelter, with the exception of a 100-strong cluster of Ecuadorian and Burkinabe supporters, the latter having stayed on after their defeat by Germany in the stadium’s earlier match. Putting their drums to good use, they proceeded to dance joyfully in the rain. By the end of the game, the Ecuador fans among the bunch were drenched but happy, having witnessed their side attack in waves in the second half to pull off an impressive come-from-behind win.
6 – The number of games in which Brazil have gone undefeated against Australia at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The last and only victory for the AFC representatives came in their first-ever encounter – a 1-0 group-stage win in Montreal – back in 1987. It is worth noting that these two teams have met more than any others in the history of the competition, including a memorable final in 1999, when A Seleçãozinha prevailed on penalties and lifted the trophy.
24 June 2011
Japan-Argentina (Morelia, 15.00)
Jamaica-France (Monterrey, 15.00)
Korea DPR-Congo (Morelia, 18.00)
Netherlands (Monterrey, 18.00)