FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019

23 May - 15 June

FIFA U-20 World Cup

Matchday Preview: Poland and Mexico under early pressure

Amadou Sagna of Senegal celebrates with teammates after scoring a hatrick 
© Getty Images
  • Poland keen to make amends for opening defeat
  • All eyes on top goalscorer Sagna
  • South American champions duel Italy in Bydgoszcz

MATCHDAY PREVIEW – Groups A and B are in action for the second time, and it is set to be a thrilling day as both Poland and Mexico have to play catch-up. Senegal face Colombia and Ecuador entertain Italy, both of which promise to be enthralling matches.

It may only be the hosts' second match, but Jacek Magiera’s men already have no room for error. The Bialo-czerwoni coach would never have contemplated crashing out at the group stage, but if Poland are to reach the knockouts, they must beat Tahiti in what will be the first-ever meeting between the two nations. Tahiti are also still waiting to end their goal drought, having never scored at a FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The second Group A match is a fight for the top spot. Both Senegal and Colombia dazzled in their opening games and whoever wins this clash will be in a commanding position. Colombia will have to be on their game from the get-go, with Senegal showing in their opener against Tahiti that they do not need an invitation to take their chances.

Mexico fans would have been hoping for a better start from their team. A 2-1 defeat to Italy means they too find themselves with little wiggle room. Japan will not make it easy, though. In their match against Ecuador, the Samurai Blue’s goalkeeper, Tomoya Wakahara, saved a penalty, which can only have bolstered his confidence. El Tri may also find him difficult to beat.

Having qualified for Poland 2019 as South American champions, Ecuador would have been hoping for more than just a 1-1 draw against Japan in their opener. They now face a tough task, as Italy come into this match buoyed by that victory over a strong Mexican side.

The games

Group A
Senegal-Colombia (Lublin, 18:00)
Poland-Tahiti (Lodz, 20:30)

Group B
Mexico-Japan (Gdynia, 15:30)
Ecuador-Italy (Bydgoszcz, 18:00)

What you need to know

“It was only our supporters and our opponents who were brilliant in Lodz tonight.”
Zbigniew Boniek, head of the Polish Football Association, took to Twitter after the hosts’ defeat

Players to watch

Amadou Sagna
Forward, Senegal

All it took was 9.6 seconds for Amadou Sagna to write his name into the FIFA U-20 World Cup record books, scoring the fastest goal in the history of the competition. The Senegalese starlet, who plays his club football for Cayor Foot FC, went on to bag another two goals, making him an early frontrunner for the adidas Golden Boot award. He turns 20 on the 10th of June and would no doubt love to celebrate his birthday in Poland, as that would mean Senegal were in the semi-finals.

Jose Macias
Forward, Mexico

The forward is enjoying a rich vein of form at present, having played a pivotal role for Leon in the domestic league, where no Mexican player has outscored him this season. A versatile front player, he can be deployed in a variety of positions.

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