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: Top spots and survival at stake

The players of New Zealand line up for their national anthem
© Getty Images
  • Group C: Top two meet as New Zealand face Uruguay
  • Group D: USA and Nigeria neck and neck
  • Qatar, Honduras and Norway eye first wins

MATCHDAY PREVIEW – It is crunch time in Groups C and D as eight more teams play their third and final games of the group stage. That means a showdown between New Zealand and Uruguay in one of the early kick-offs. The two sides have already clinched berths in the last 16 by winning both their matches so far. Top spot in the group is the prize on offer, with the Kiwis needing just a draw thanks to their superior goal difference.

Elsewhere in the same group, bottom duo Norway and Honduras will aim to keep their qualification chances alive. Although hopes are slim for both teams, they will be desperate for victory and the prospect of finishing as one of the four best third-place finishers.

In Group D, Nigeria come face to face with a Ukraine team already through to the knockout phase. The European side require a point to seal first place, while Nigeria – who defeated Qatar before losing to USA – have to win to protect themselves. As for Qatar, they retain hopes of progressing in third place as they tackle USA, who will surely advance if they come out on top.

The games

30 May

Group C
New Zealand-Uruguay (Lodz, 18:00)
Norway-Honduras (Lublin, 18:00)

Group D
Nigeria-Ukraine (Bielsko-Biala, 20:30)
USA-Qatar (Tychy, 20:30)

What you need to know

New Zealand boast the most prolific attack at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 thanks to their haul of seven goals from two games. They are also one of the few teams yet to concede a single goal.

"They will be formidable opponents," says Uruguay's Nicolas Acevedo. "Their style of play is similar to Norway, who we faced in our opening game. They drop back well so we'll have to get forward and take the same approach we've employed until now."

Players to watch

Andriy Lunin (Ukraine)
After signing a six-year deal with Real Madrid last summer, Lunin spent the 2018/19 season out on loan with Leganes. He is now proving his worth on the international stage, helping Ukraine reach the last 16 thanks to his dynamic interventions against Qatar and his ability to organise the defence.

Ikouwem Utin (Nigeria)
Nigeria's left-back and captain has already shown what he can do at both ends of the pitch. Utin kicked off with two assists in the opening match against Qatar before an all-around display against the USA, showcasing his defensive qualities while still contributing to the attack.

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