Fifa U 17 World Cup: India to play in the opener, Group F termed as Group of Death; here are all the groups and fixtures of the tournament
Fifa U 17 World Cup: Group A - USA, Colombia, and Ghana: The young Indian football team is for the first time playing in the Under 17 World Cup and adding to their anxiety towards the tournament, it has been handed the toughest draw. But the confident Indian coach Luis Norton de Matos has downplayed the negativity. In a group that boasts teams of World Cup pedigree, USA and Colombia are former semi-finalists while Ghana are two-time champions, India are the novices. As debutants in any age-group of a football World Cup, there aren’t many expectations of the hosts. Given the opportunity, they just want to make the most of the experience.
As per Indian Express report, the coach said “We aren’t afraid, the boys aren’t scared." There is a big difference in playing experience between the Indian side and its foreing opposition. Bridging the gap, De Matos said,"Most of the players from the other teams at the World Cup have about 10 years of tournament experience. No matter how hard I try, I cannot replicate and make up for that match experience.” The Indian teens will soon play in a four-team tournament in Mexico which will also feature, Chile and Colombia.
Meanwhile, de Matos claimed that they he has setup a concrete formation for the Indian side, He said,"Earlier, when we lose the ball they would stay still and wait for the defenders to make tackles. Now the entire team tracks back to defend and then pushes forward when we get the ball." India will play in the opening match against the stronger side USA. The North American giants have played in 15 out of 16 editions of the tournamnt and are veterans to handle such a pressure. But according to de Matos Ghana is a bigger threat who fields physically strong players. He said," “They are a team with a strong tradition at this tournament, and with Mali, they’re easily the top two teams from Africa."
Whilst the performance of the India team will have the support of its 1.2 billion followers, especially in the opener, the biggest tie of the tournament is between Brazil and Spain which will take place in Kochi.
The three-time champions from South America, drawn in Group D, have had a strong history in the tournament, but the Spaniards have a special motive in the upcoming event.
pain coach Santiago Denia while talking to IE said,"The biggest challenge for me is that this is the only tournament Spain has never won (across all age groups)."
Group F is termed as the 'Group of Death' with Iraq and Mexico being crowned as the champions of Asian and North American qualifiers respectively while England and Chile finishing at the runner-up position in their respective continents.
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