- Round of 16 concludes with two games in Vitoria
- Ecuador-Italy sees clash of group runners-up
- Paraguay-Argentina: first meeting between the South American duo at U-17 World Cup
The round of 16 at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™ concludes this Thursday 7 November with three South American teams – Ecuador, Argentina and Paraguay – joining Italy in the battle for the final two quarter-final slots.
The Azzurini and La Tri, second in Groups F and B respectively, get the action underway in the early game in what will be the first ever meeting between the sides in this competition. Both teams had identical records during the group phase at Brazil 2019, winning two games and losing one.
Paraguay and Argentina, who go head to head in the late game, also had identical group-stage records at this World Cup – each recording two wins and a draw. And while that tally allowed Los Guaraníes to take top spot in Group F, Las Albicelestes had to make do with second place in their section behind Spain.
That said, this South American derby promises to deliver. "We know them well, which is an advantage, although our opponents can also say the same thing,” Argentina forward Franco Orozco told FIFA.com. We faced them twice during qualifying and remained unbeaten (3-0 and 2-2), which means we know how to deal with their very physical game," he added.
📅 The games
Round of 16
📌 What you need to know
- Paraguay's clash with Las Albicelestes will be very special for Diego Ariel Duarte, with the Guaraníes striker named after Argentinians Diego Maradona and Ariel Ortega.
- CONMEBOL is the only confederation to see all its representatives in the last 16. However, it will bid farewell to at least two of its sides in this round with Chile losing to Brazil on 6 November in another all-South America fixture.
🔎 Players to watch
Matias Godoy (Forward, Argentina)
Godoy's experience could prove decisive against a strong Paraguayan defence, as the Albiceleste No9 is used to facing tough opponents in his country’s second division with club side Atletico Rafaela. Moreover, he's in fine form right now, having chipped in with late goals in his side’s last two wins in Brazil.
Marco Molla (Goalkeeper, Italy)
After being rested against Paraguay in the final group game, Molla will return between the posts for the Azzurini. Impressive in his side’s earlier games against Solomon Islands and Mexico, he will have a vital role to play against an Ecuador side that found the net at least twice in each of their group games.