Former champions reign as hosts depart
THE DAY REPLAYED – Former champions Brazil, Mexico and Nigeria rolled back the years by emerging victorious in their respective FIFA U-17 World Cup Round of 16 matches. They were joined by Belgium, who won in their first knockout game at this level, in completing the first half of Chile 2015’s quarter-final line-up on a day of penalty drama, birthday celebrations and emotional farewells for the hosts.
Mexico came from behind to dump Chile out of the competition, cantering to a 4-1 victory courtesy of goals from Claudio Zamudio, Pablo Lopez, Eduardo Aguirre and Diego Cortes after Brian Leiva had put La Roja ahead.
James McGarry had an afternoon to forget for New Zealand, first blasting a penalty over the bar before fouling Luis Henrique to concede a late spot kick – converted by the Brazilian No9 to send A Seleção into the quarter-finals.
Nigeria saw off Australia in a dominant performance, with Victor Osimhen scoring the first hat-trick of Chile 2015 to see him stand alone as the outright top goalscorer in the competition so far with seven goals.
Korea Republic wonderkid Lee Seungwoo missed a penalty after birthday boy Jorn Vancamp had become the first player to breach the Asian side’s defence in Chile, with Matthias Verreth’s late stunner rubberstamping the ten men of les Diables Rouges’ progress into the last eight.
Results *Round of 16 *Mexico 4-1 Chile Brazil 1-0 New Zealand Nigeria 6-0 Australia Korea Republic 0-2 Belgium
Goal of the day *Korea Republic 0-2 Belgium, Matthias Verreth (67) *A slide rule through pass from the Belgian midfield was chased down by the long-legged Verreth. The PSV Eindhoven forward reached it ahead of the Korea Republic defence, cut inside onto his left foot and hit a thunderous drive past the despairing dive of Ahn Joonsoo, who was left with no chance. Quite a way to score your first goal at the global finals.
Memorable moments *Chilean fans say goodbye After Chillan had rolled out a perfect green carpet for La Roja, with preparations on the pristine pitch taking place right up until kick off, the hosts could not give their supporters the win they so craved. That did not stop plenty of Chilean fans staying behind to applaud their defeated youngsters, shouting the traditional call and response ‘CHI CHI CHI, LE LE LE’. *As the players departed the stadium, they had a large number of fans waiting for them. They were serenaded, applauded and were the subject of innumerable selfies. Memories that will last a lifetime for fans and players alike.
Belgian birthday boy’s brilliance Jorn Vancamp woke up this morning hoping to celebrate his birthday in the best possible way, by reaching the last eight of a global finals. The new 17-year-old went one better, becoming the first player to breach the Korea Republic defence in scoring Belgium’s opener on the way to their 2-0 victory over the Asian side.
Kiwis console McGarry New Zealand’s James McGarry had an afternoon that he is not likely to forget, however hard he tries. The Kiwi No11 blazed a penalty over the bar, before fouling Brazil’s Luis Henrique for the penalty that the No9 converted for Brazil’s 96th-minute winner. However, he had the support of his coach and team-mates in the aftermath.
"I talked to him and told him it take guts to take a penalty kick at this level,” coach Danny Hay said after the game. “He just happened to miss. He has nothing to be ashamed of.” Those sentiments were echoed by goalkeeper Michael Woud. “We are here to pick him up because that is what he would have done for any of us,” Woud said. With friends and mentors around him with that level of support, McGarry is sure to bounce back.
The stat **6** – Nigeria's 6-0 victory over Australia is the joint-biggest win in the history of the FIFA U-17 World Cup knockout stages, level with Japan's 6-0 win against their antipodean neighbours New Zealand in 2011, which also come in the Round of 16.
The words “Don't give up on your dreams. It might be so difficult to attain them, but there's a lesson to be learned! Keep going, guys!” Claudio Bravo, Chile’s senior team goalkeeper after the U-17 side’s exit from their own U-17 World Cup.
— Claudio Bravo Muñoz (@C1audioBravo) October 28, 2015
Next matchday *Thursday 29 October* Round of 16 Croatia – Germany Mali – Korea DPR Russia – Ecuador France – Costa Rica