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Discussion Starter #1



After a brilliant U-20 World Cup, youth football is having another showdown with the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria. The tournament kicks off tomorrow and lasts until 15 November.

Here are the 24 participants and the respective groups:

Group A
Nigeria (Hosts and holders)
Germany
Honduras
Argentina

Group B
Brazil
Japan
Mexico
Switzerland

Group C
Iran
Gambia
Colombia
Netherlands

Group D
Turkey
Burkina Faso
Costa Rica
New Zealand

Group E
United Arab Emirates
Malawi
Spain
USA

Group F
Uruguay
South Korea
Algeria
Italy


****


Future stars ready to shine
FIFA.com preview
Friday 23 October 2009


Africa stands at the very heart of the footballing world this term with September's FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 marking the start of a season that will end in style with next summer's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa. In between those two events, and almost equidistant in geographical terms, Nigeria will be next to share its passion for the beautiful game in its role as FIFA U-17 World Cup host nation.

The action begins on 24 October, when the stars of tomorrow will take their first ever steps in the global arena. In total, 504 players have been called up to show their worth - and vie to take up the baton from illustrious former participants Ronaldinho, Iker Casillas, Michael Essien and Luis Figo? The youngsters heading to Nigeria are nothing like as celebrated as their predecessors, of course, but some have already rubbed shoulders with the finest talents in the game by earning first-team experience despite their tender age. Even that is unlikely to rival the pressures they are about to face, however. "They know their obligations and they know that the national shirt sits heavy on the shoulders," 1986 FIFA World Cup winner and current Argentina U-17 coach José Luis Brown told FIFA.com.

The favourites
Brown's charges will get the tournament up and running against Group A rivals Honduras in a game that would not be out of place in the semi-finals, proof that the competition is likely to be engrossing right from the opening whistle. Runners-up on the South American stage and serious candidates to go all the way, the young Albicelestes must nonetheless face 2007 bronze medallists and recent European champions Germany in their section. And if that were not challenging enough, their final group opponents are another team heavily backed to take the title - reigning champions, hosts and three-time winners Nigeria.

As for Brazil, they will go into the tournament eager to clinch their fourth title at this level, having previously prevailed in 1997, 1999 and 2003. They will also be keen to erase memories of their last two appearances, which ended in defeat to Mexico in the 2005 final and a Round-of-16 loss to Nigeria last time out. Spearheading the Seleção bid will be fearsome duo Neymar and Philippe Coutinho, who have already captured the imagination of the Brazilian public and given future opponents a stark warning thanks to their displays in the Brazilian top flight.

How concerned Spain will be by that warning is debatable, with the European side surely belonging among the elite company of the overall favourites. Regularly dominant on the Old Continent, La Roja hope to at last transfer their local supremacy to the highest level.

The outsiders
Talented and unpredictable in equal parts, Mexico went from winning everything in Peru in 2005 to failing to qualify to defend their title at the following edition in South Korea. Who knows what side the young Aztecas will bring to the party this year? Their American neighbours to the north cannot be written off either, particularly as they are the only country to have appeared in every edition of the competition, often faring well. They start as potential outsiders.

In terms of Europe's representatives, the same goes for a solid Italy side, an ambitious Turkey team and a Netherlands squad out for revenge. All featured in Peru before failing to qualify for South Korea and all have enough quality to make a mockery of the prediction process. The same could also be said of Japan and South Korea, whose fluid play and excellent youth training programmes may be finally about to produce tangible results.

Lastly, a surprise of sorts could come from Gambia, though as two-time African champions at this level, it would be far from a shock to see them prosper. Enjoying a football renaissance at the moment, Algeria could also go far, and both they and Gambia will undoubtedly acclimatise themselves to the hot and humid Nigerian conditions ahead of their rivals.

Perfect venue
As a country with a fervent love of the game, Nigeria looks likely to be the perfect venue for this festival of football. Thousands of fans travelled to follow the Golden Eaglets in South Korea two years ago and their noisy, playful support clearly lifted the team coached by Yemi Tella, who has since passed away. Those same supporters are doubtless readying themselves to fill the stands and cheer on the stars of the future, with Abuja, Bauchi, Calabar, Enugu, Ijebu-Ode, Kaduna, Kano and Lagos the eight cities selected to welcome the 24 trophy hopefuls.​
 

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This should be a great tournament, been waiting for quite a while for it to start, finally.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
These are the fixtures for the first day of the tournament:

Saturday, 24.10.2009

Group A
17:00 CET - Honduras 0-1 Argentina
20:00 CET - Nigeria 3-3 Germany

Group B
17:00 CET - Mexico 0-2 Switzerland
20:00 CET - Brazil 3-2 Japan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well this first day is bringing some classic stuff with it.

In Group A Argentina won as expected against Honduras (1-0) and the game between hosts and champions Nigeria and Germany is still going on as it was delayed 30' due to some very heavy rain. The Germans went 3-0 up at the 47th minute but the home team incredibly managed to equalise and are now pushing for a winner with one men up. :eekani:

In Group B, newcomers Switzerland surprisingly beat Mexico 2-0 and Brazil had a very tough time to beat Japan 3-2. The Japanese equalled 2-2 with 6 minutes to go but an own goal at the 4th minute of added time gave the win to the Seleção.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's over: Nigeria 3-3 Germany. Amazing come back by the Nigerians.
 

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Superb game between Nigeria and Germany, excellent comeback by the Nigerians after being down 0-3.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Today's fixtures:

Sunday, 25.10.2009

Group C
16:00 CET - Iran 2-0 Gambia
19:00 CET - Colombia 2-1 Netherlands

Group D
16:00 CET - Turkey 1-0 Burkina Faso
19:00 CET - Costa Rica 1-1 New Zealand
 

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Colombia vs Netherlands was a pretty good game, pretty decent tempo as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Today's fixtures:

Monday, 26.10.2009

Group E
16:00 CET - United Arab Emirates 2-0 Malawi
19:00 CET - Spain 2-1 USA

Group F
16:00 CET - Uruguay 1-3 South Korea
19:00 CET - Algeria 0-1 Italy
 

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Almost forgot this was going on, but excited that it is happening. Watching Uruguay-South Korea right now, pretty good game Koreans are 1-0 up but Uruguay squandered a really good 3 on 1 chance. Very excited for both Spain-USA and Algeria-Italy this afternoon.

Good thing about this as opposed to the U20 tournament is that I imagine there will be more full-strength sides since I doubt very many U17 players are going to be required at their clubs.

PS - For those of you in the States, espn360.com has all the matches in good quality. :thumbsup:
 

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Uruguay 1-3 South Korea
UAE 2-0 Malawi

Typically efficient performance from South Korea, Uruguay played some good football at times but overall were not good with their possession and gave up two goals due to fluky/poor defending. I did like Adrián Luna from Uruguay, he is very good on the ball and could be one to watch for the future. For Korea it was a very good team performance but I did like their left winger and Lee Jong-Ho, the striker who scored the last goal and was unlucky not to get more.

Didn't see much of UAE-Malawi but seems like the UAE got a deserved victory against Malawi, who finished with nine men. UAE's U20 team put in a pretty good performance at their World Cup last month so it will be interesting to see how they fare here.
 

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Man, Sebas Gallegos was really unlucky to assist South Korea's second goal, you don't get more unlucky. Hopefully he bounces back just like Uruguay, great win for the Korean's though who deserved it as well. Uruguay were basically trying too much individually which is very common on this level.
 

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Spain player sent off in 63 seconds for bringing down a US forward clear on goal and the USA scores within 4 minutes! Great start but we've got to hold on, Spain are a good team obviously and with players like Munain it won't be easy for our defense, one US player has already got a yellow for bringing him down.

Italy looking decent so far against Algeria.
 

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Its really funny how you see the cultures rarely change. Even in this age group.
 
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