Intriguing duels launch Round of 16
Brazil 2019 knockout stage kicks off with two matches in Goiania
Angola-Korea Republic: a battle of second-placed sides
Nigeria-Netherlands: African heavyweights versus European champs
On Tuesday, the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™ enters its decisive knockout phase, in which the slightest detail could determine who stays and who has to pack their bags and head home.
Angola and Korea Republic, who finished second in Groups A and C respectively, will get things started. Las Palanquinhas, whose refreshing brand of attacking football was one of the pleasant surprises of the group phase, will be taking part in the last 16 of the tournament for the first time.
As for the Koreans, who are difficult to break down and dangerous on the counter-attack, they recently scored the fastest goal of the competition against Chile.
The second match pits Nigeria, winners of Group B, against the Netherlands, who advanced as one of the third-placed teams with the best records. The Golden Eaglets have flirted with poor results in Brazil, but have relied on impressive comebacks to stay in the hunt.
The Oranje, meanwhile, found their feet – and goals – just when it seemed that all was lost. Going into their third and final pool encounter, the Dutch practically had one foot on the plane home, but a 4-0 victory over USA, plus some helpful results in other sections, allowed them to qualify for the Round of 16 for the first time since 2005.
📅 The games
Round of 16
[[flag-ang-xs]] Angola-Korea Republic [[flag-kor-xs]] (Olimpico Goiania, 16:30, local time) [[flag-nga-xs]] Nigeria-Netherlands [[flag-ned-xs]] (Olimpico Goiania, 20:00, local time)
📌 What you need to know
“We’ll keep working hard to conquer Brazil because anything less than that won’t be accepted back home.” Peter Olawale (Forward, Nigeria)
Despite having quite distinct styles of play, Angola and Korea Republic have recorded almost the same average percentage of possession in their three games: 45% for the Africans, 44% for the Asians.
🔎 Players to watch
Sontje Hansen (Forward, Netherlands) The Dutch No7 caught the eye in his team’s match against USA, in which he was finally able to demonstrate his skills and attacking threat, scoring two goals and registering an assist. Against a Nigeria side that likes to pour forward, leaving holes at the back, the Ajax forward could play a crucial role.
Eom Jisung (Forward, Korea Republic) With a goal and an assist, Eom Jisung has been one of the Taeguk Warriors’ most dangerous players at Brazil 2019. His pace is well-suited to a team that loves hitting opponents on the break when they least expect it.