Germany, Spain look to seal knockout berths

Germany, Spain look to seal knockout berths
A 0-4 humiliation by Iran denting their confidence, European powerhouse Germany face African side Guinea in a must-win match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here on Friday.

Germany, who have qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup as fifth-place finisher from Europe via a play-off, began their campaign with an unconvincing 2-1 win over Costa Rica before slumping to an embarrassing 0-4 defeat to Iran.

Any further slip-up against Guinea in their last Group C match will see Germany making an early exit. The Christian Wueck-coached side needs a win to secure an automatic spot in the Round of 16 as one of the two group toppers.

With six points in their kitty, Iran have already qualified for the knock-outs.

Even a draw may see Germany through to the Round of 16 but they would want a win against Guinea as that will give them some confidence which has been shattered by Iran.

Iran confident

In the other match of the group, Iran will take on Costa Rica in Margao.

Apart from Iran, USA, Paraguay, Brazil, France and England have already booked their pre-quarterfinal berths. Iran will be keen to maintain the momentum after their big win over Germany.

“It was a great performance by our boys against Germany. They played as a unit, controlled the proceedings and exploited the gaps in the German defence,” said Iran coach Abbas Chamanian.

“It is their best performance so far and if they continue to perform in the same manner we have a great chance to reach the final,” said Chamanian. Costa Rica have one point after they drew against Guinea and need to win to make it to the knockout round.

“It’s a do or die battle for us now and our boys know it,” stated Costa Rica coach Breansse Camacho.

Brazil eye victory

In Group D, also in Margao, Brazil, assured of a pre-quarterfinal spot, would look to entertain the Goan crowd with another win when they take on debutants Niger.

Brazil have been in fine form, winning both their encounters against Spain and North Korea to top the group. Thanks to the Portuguese connection, they are sure to get strong crowd support and will be looking to take advantage of it. Debutant Niger, on the other hand, had a dream start to the tournament when they won their opening encounter against North Korea but lost the next game to Spain.

Now they have no option but to win if they want to have any chance of advancing to the next stage of the tournament.

In the other Group D match, Spain will look to overcome North Korea to seal their place in pre-quarters. Having lost to Brazil in the opening match, they bounced back to drub Niger and will be in a better frame of mind when they take on the Asians.

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