Trio spy fast lane to last 16
The eight teams in Groups C and D return to the fray again on Wednesday for their second matches of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015. Victorious on the opening day in Group C, Germany and Mexico are setting their sights set on early qualification for the last 16, while Ecuador have the same objective in mind in Group D.
Match of the day *Argentina-Germany, 21 October 2015, 20:00 (local time)*
No matter what the age group, meetings between Germany and Argentina are always special occasions. Having flexed their attacking muscle with an impressive four-goal display against Australia, Germany will be hungry for more. Argentina, meanwhile, are in urgent need of points after defensive errors and spurned chances condemned them to defeat against Mexico. Although the South Americans have the edge in the head-to-head, thanks to a win in 2009 and a draw in 1985, they face a stiff task in recovering from their faltering start and will need to tighten up at the back and sharpen up in attack if they are to maintain realistic hopes of advancing.
The other matches Two-time winners Mexico look intent on regaining the title they won on home soil in 2011 and relinquished at Nigeria 2013. After being rewarded for their attacking ambition against Argentina, El Tri now take on an Australia side licking their wounds after a heavy defeat to Germany. Both sides have made the same number of appearances in the competition and are also all square in terms of their two previous meetings, with the Mexicans edging their 2005 encounter and the Australians emerging victorious back in 1991.
Over in Group D, Ecuador face Mali in what has the makings of an entertaining clash between two attack-minded sides. The South Americans got off to the best possible start in putting three goals past Honduras, while the Malians failed to take any of the numerous chances they created in their goalless draw with Belgium.
In the other game in the section, Belgium and Honduras will both go in search of the points they need to maintain their qualification bids. While the Belgians impressed in defence in holding Mali to a draw in their first game, the Hondurans made too many errors against Ecuador and will be looking for an improvement as they bid to keep alive their hopes of repeating their run to the last eight at UAE 2013.
Player to watch* Johannes Eggestein (Germany)*
The Werder Bremen player got himself noticed with a quick-fire brace in the defeat of Australia, having chipped in with three goals and two assists in the qualifiers. The early frontrunner in the race for the adidas Golden Boot, Eggestein will be looking to add to his account against the Argentinians.
The stat** 3 - **the number of goals Ecuador scored in their defeat of Honduras, the highest tally they have ever managed in an U-17 world finals match, eclipsing their 2-0 defeats of USA and Burkina Faso.
The words “We won, but we made mistakes and we can’t afford to make them again. The next match will be tactical and tight,” Ecuador coach Javier Rodriguez.
Match schedule* Group C* Australia-Mexico (Estadio Nelson Oyarzun Arenas, Chillan, 17:00, local time) Argentina-Germany (Estadio Nelson Oyarzun Arenas, Chillan, 20:00, local time)
Group D Belgium-Honduras (Estadio Fiscal, Talca, 17:00, local time) Ecuador-Mali (Estadio Fiscal, Talca, 20:00, local time)