Hosts hopeful, Brazilians look to bounce back
The opening matchday of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile saw the host nation get off the mark with a goal, the holders begin with a win and Korea Republic produce a big shock as the Lee Seungwoo-inspired side defeated three-time champions Brazil.
The second round of games in Groups A and B could prove decisive, with both pools finely poised and some mouthwatering ties in prospect. FIFA.com previews Matchday 4 in Chile, with the hosts descending on Vina Del Mar after lighting up Santiago on the opening day, while Coquimbo’s sister city La Serena also hosts its first games.
Match of the day England-Brazil, La Serena, 20 October 2015, 17:00 (local time) There have been some memorable matches at senior FIFA World Cup™ tournaments between these two sides, most notably in 1970 - which produced Gordon Banks' wonderful save and the iconic image of Bobby Moore and Pele – as well as a previous Chilean meeting in Vina Del Mar in 1962. In their sole U-17 World Cup meeting, back in 2007, the young Three Lions side did something their senior counterparts have yet to do – emerge victorious against a Brazilian side in a World Cup match – as a team featuring Danny Welbeck won 2-1. Tuesday’s clash will be pivotal, with Brazil reeling from a shock opening defeat at the hands of Korea Republic, and the Three Lions themselves pegged back by Guinea.
The other matches Group B’s other game sees the nascent group leaders Korea Republic take on Guinea, fresh from that historic win against Brazil. While Guinea’s Moussa Camara stole the headlines in Coquimbo with his penalty save from Marcus Edwards, the Korea Republic defence will have to be wary of the swift counter-attacking style of the Guineans.
The hosts face holders Nigeria in Group A, with the Chileans hoping to stop an attack which powered through the USA defence in their opening game. La Roja will take heart from the home support, and their control of the second period against Croatia – although they will have to be watchful of Nigerian dangerman Victor Osimhen.
The USA themselves were the architects of their own downfall after a strong first half against the Africans, and coach Richie Williams will be imploring his team to concentrate for 90 minutes against a technically gifted Croatia team. The Europeans waned after a bright start against the hosts, so they too will be looking to go the distance in La Serena.
Player to watch Marcus Edwards (England) The Three Lions’ No10 was bright and lively throughout his team’s match against Guinea, proving elusive between the lines of the African side’s midfield and defence. His incisive passing created several chances for England’s forwards and his quick feet earned a first-half penalty, which was saved. For that reason, it is likely the Tottenham Hotspur man will be all the more determined to prove his worth to coach Neil Dewsnip and his team-mates against Brazil.
The stat** 140 – **Guinea’s Karim Conte, who featured in his side’s opening draw against England, is the shortest player in the tournament, measuring in at 140cm.
The words “My first objective is for us to get through the first round, and we’ve made the ideal start in that respect. After that we want to go as far as we possibly can,” Korea Republic forward Lee Seungwoo.
Match schedule Group A USA-Croatia (Estadio Sausalito, Vina Del Mar, 17:00) Chile-Nigeria (Estadio Sausalito, Vina Del Mar, 20:00)
Group B England-Brazil (Estadio La Portada, La Serena, 17:00) Korea Republic-Guinea (Estadio La Portada, La Serena, 20:00)
(All times local)