- Favourites all through, debutants Niger ecstatic
- Group C final standings: Iran (9 points), Germany (6), Guinea (1), Costa Rica (1)
- Group D final standings: Brazil (9), Spain (6), Niger (3), Korea DPR (0)
DAY REPLAYED – The third and final matchday in Groups C and D at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 saw all of the favourites secure safe passage into the Round of 16.
In Group C, Iran enjoyed their third win in as many games, while Germany secured second place at the expense of Guinea, who bow out of the tournament along with Costa Rica.
The same fate befell Korea DPR in Group D, while Brazil, Spain and U-17 World Cup debutants Niger – as one of the four best third-placed teams – are into the last 16.
Costa Rica 0-3 Iran
Guinea 1-3 Germany
Niger 0-2 Brazil
Spain 2-0 Korea DPR
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What we learned
Disappointing tournament for Korea DPR. After failing to even qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 last May, the North Koreans are now on the first flight home from India after three straight defeats, in which they failed to find the net and conceded five times. This is the first time that they have fallen at the first hurdle after reaching the knockout stages in each of their four previous participations (2005, 2007, 2011 and 2015).
Spot the star in Goa. Brazil’s Ronaldinho, who is the only player ever to win the FIFA U-17 World Cup (in 1997) and the FIFA World Cup™ (in 2002), took a keen interest in his country’s crucial clash with Niger, and went to watch A Seleção live at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Last 16 taking shape. Friday’s results mean that three of the ties in the Round of 16 can already be inked into the fixture list: Colombia – Germany, Ghana – Niger and Paraguay – USA.
The stat of the day
2 – In the history of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, only two teams have managed to win the title at the first attempt – the USSR in 1987 and Switzerland in 2009. Will Niger be able to follow in the footsteps of those illustrious debutants here in India?
“It wasn’t easy to turn things around after the Iran match. The players were under a lot of pressure, but they dealt with it really impressively. We were set up right for this game and everyone stood by their team-mates. We do know, though, that we need to convert more of our chances – particularly when it gets to the Round of 16, where the quality of the opponents will be even higher. Colombia will pose a real challenge, and we will be fully focused on our preparation for that.”
Germany coach Christian Wuck