- Quarter-finals start with a double bill
- Netherlands-Paraguay: first-time meeting and a clash of styles
- Korea Republic-Mexico: counter-attacking football versus a possession game
The quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™ get under way on Sunday with two ties that bring four different schools of football together.
The action begins with the first ever meeting between the Netherlands and Paraguay in the history of the competition. The European champions came close to an early exit in the group phase but have recorded back-to-back wins to move into the last eight for the first time since 2005.
Sontje Hansen, the tournament’s leading goalscorer, will need to be at his very best to make an impression on a solid Paraguayan defence. Los Guaraníes recorded one of the results of the competition in the previous round, summoning up all their spirit and skill to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Argentina and equal their best performance at the U-17 world finals, when they made the last eight in 1999.
In the day’s evening match, Korea Republic will put their defensive organisation to the test against Mexico. The Koreans’ main man is their goalkeeper Shin Songhoon, while the Mexicans impressed in the group phase and then stepped up a level against Japan in the previous round.
The only time the two nations have faced each other before in the age group was in the last 16 at Nigeria 2009, when the Koreans won 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw.
📅 The games
📌 What you need to know
- Paraguay and Korea Republic are the only two of the eight remaining teams at Brazil 2019 who have never contested a FIFA U-17 World Cup semi-final
- While the Koreans have scored five of their six goals to date in the first half, eight of Mexico’s 11 have come after half-time
🔎 Players to watch
Santiago Munoz (Forward, Mexico)
The Mexico No9 put in a superb performance against Japan. Aside from scoring a fine goal, he led the line with distinction, provided an outlet for his team throughout, and showed his intelligence and goal threat by finding space time and again. His tandem with Efrain Alvarez is paying dividends for the team and it will be interesting to see how he fares against a Korea Republic side that likes to defend in numbers.
Kenneth Taylor (Midfielder, Netherlands)
The Oranje captain is the commanding presence and midfield linchpin in an attack-minded side. His partnership with Youri Regeer has become increasingly influential as the tournament has progressed.