- European neighbours France and Spain meet in Goiania
- Crowd to be Brazil’s 12th man against Gnonto’s Italy
- Hosts will be without two regular starters for the match
On Monday, four countries with rich footballing heritages will fight it out for the two remaining spots in the semi-finals of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2019™ in Brazil.
Neighbours France and Spain will take to the field in an all-European quarter-final between the two losing semi-finalists from this year’s European U-17 Championship. French spirits are high on the back of four straight wins at the tournament, a feat matched only by the Brazilians.
In the match of the night, Brazil will be hoping that the fervent support they receive from the home fans in Goiania will make the difference against Italy, for whom Degnand Gnonto has already scored three times at the tournament. However, the hosts will have to make do without Talles Magno, who picked up an injury in the Round of 16 win over Chile and will play no further part in the tournament. Another Brazilian unavailable for this match is midfielder Diego, scorer of two goals so far at the World Cup, who has been booked twice and therefore misses out through suspension.
The winners of the two matches will come up against one another in a semi-final clash scheduled to be played in Brasilia.
📅 The games
📌 What you need to know
- “There’s no need to fear anyone. [France] are a good side but I think that, provided we get it right, we’re better than them. France are playing really well but we’re going out there to win, just like in the other games.” Pedri (Midfielder, Spain)
- Italy have a special source of motivation for their match against Brazil: a win would see them equal the best campaign in their history at the tournament (fourth place in 1987).
🔎 Players to watch
Nathanael Mbuku (Forward, France)
The forward may have failed to score during the group stage but he came alive in the Round of 16, scoring three goals against Australia, each time from inside the penalty box. Mbuku was recently promoted to the Reims senior team and has already had a taste of Ligue 1 football.
Kaio Jorge (Forward, Brazil)
The No9 shone in Brazil’s Round of 16 match against Chile, scoring a free-kick and a penalty in A Seleçao’s 3-2 win. Kaio, whose footballing hero is Pele, has already found the back of the net three times at the tournament.