*THE DAY REPLAYED – *Germany became the third team to advance to the Round of 16 of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 by comfortably disposing of Group C opponents Argentina 4-0, on a matchday 5 that proved highly disappointing for the three Latin Americans teams in action.
The Germans, who are now officially the most productive team of the tournament with eight goals in two games, were ruthless in their defeat of La Albiceleste**, who now appear unlikely to qualify for the knockout stages.
In the other match in that section, Mexico and Australia played out a scoreless draw in a match that El Tri deserved to win but almost ended up losing in the closing stages. It is not all doom and gloom for the CONCACAF giants, however, as with four points in the bank they are still on course to advance from the group. The Joeys, meanwhile, have just one point and will need to win their final fixture against Argentina to have any chance of progressing.
The situation in Group D is even tighter, with Mali and Belgium now level at the top following their victories over Ecuador and Honduras respectively. While the fate of the third-placed South Americans remains in their own hands, the same cannot be said for Los Catrachos, who prop up the pool.
Belgium 2-1 Honduras
Australia 0-0 Mexico
Ecuador 1-2 Mali
Argentina 0-4 Germany
Goal of the day*
Argentina 0-1 Germany, Vitaly Janelt (5)
Germany’s first goal against Argentina was one for the purists. Forward Johannes Eggstein, who found himself in a useful position on the left wing, played the ball into the box for team captain Felix Passlack, who hit a low left-footed cross in the direction of the oncoming Mats Kohlert. The 17-year-old midfielder, instead of shooting, cleverly passed it back inside first-time for the unmarked Vitaly Janelt, who poked the ball neatly into the net.
*From villain to hero
Belgian midfielder Dante Rigo experienced a rollercoaster 90 minutes in Talca on Wednesday, first cheaply giving the ball away that eventually led to Honduras’ equaliser and then making up for that error by pouncing to score the winner 12 minutes from time. “Scoring in any game is fantastic, but to do it at a World Cup is indescribable,” said the delighted No8. “All of us are happy, but no-one’s happier than me.”
One of those days
Ecuador skipper Joel Quintero’s bad day at the office began with him taking a free kick deep in his own half that he contrived to knock directly out of play after slipping on the turf. Instead of cursing the pitch, the defender picked himself up, grinning broadly and giving his bench the thumps-up sign, while the fans at the Estadio Fiscal laughed and cheered. Quintero was no longer smiling nine minutes from time, however, when he was sent off for a second yellow card.
Prior to the match, the Estadio Nelson Oyarzun Arenas in Chillan was honoured by the presence of a flock of southern lapwings, a bird commonly spotted in Chile. Mexican goalkeeper Abraham Romero may well have used them as a source of inspiration when, with Australia pushing for a winner, he flew across his line to spectacularly palm Paros Armenakas’ free-kick around the post.
The FIFA Youth Programme gives hundreds of children the opportunity to experience FIFA World Cup tournaments from close quarters. In the game between Argentina and Germany, the two youngsters selected to hold hands with Tomas Conechny and Felix Passlack as they entered the field of play won over the hearts of all concerned by asking the two captains for a pre-match photograph. The U-17 internationals both agreed, thereby giving their young fans an unforgettable souvenir.
83 – The number of times in the history of the U-17 World Cup that, including Wednesday’s match between Belgium and Honduras, a 2-1 result has appeared on the scoreboard. The only scoreline that has been seen more frequently is 1-1, which has occurred no fewer than 85 times.
*“It’s not a disaster. We’re talking about a game here. A disaster is when someone dies or is fatally ill. There are 22 players, and today one team was better than the other. Hopefully, after the next game, we’ll be able to qualify as one of the best-placed third teams. But whatever happens, it’s not a disaster. It’s just sport,” *Miguel Angel Lemme, Argentina coach.
*Thursday 22 October
*South Africa-Korea DPR (Group E)
New Zealand-Syria (Group F)
Russia-Costa Rica (Group E)
Paraguay-France (Group F)