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FIFA U-17 World Cup

Seven sides desperate to join Germany

(FIFA.com)
Honduras and Belgium shake hands
© Getty Images

With Germany already through to the Round of 16, the seven remaining unqualified teams in groups C and D will be giving everything to join them when they contest their third games at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015. The race for automatic qualifying berths promises to be intense, especially as the two sides who finish third face a nervy wait until the end of the group stage to discover their fates.

Match of the day
Ecuador-Belgium, 22 October, 16.00 local time
Both nations know this game will be crucial as they look to continue their adventure in Chile. Belgium sit on four points following their draw with Mali and win against Honduras, and their well-oiled, attack-minded team will be desperate for another victory that would guarantee them first or second spot. Once again, they are sure to go about their task with an impressive team spirit, having attacked and defended as a unit in their previous outings. As for Ecuador, they have been inconsistent so far, kicking off with a win against Honduras only to lose their second fixture to Mali. Deprived of captain Joel Quintero after his red card last time out, penalty specialist Pervis Estupinan and Co will need to seek out weaknesses in the Belgian back line without making any careless mistakes.

The other matches
Also in Group D, African champions Mali will be hoping for another strong performance up front after parading their attacking skills in their Ecuador success. Having found the net last time out, forward duo Boubacar Traore and Aly Malle will both be high on confidence, but they face a Honduras side with their backs to the wall. After losing their first two games, even a win might not be enough to earn the Central American hopefuls a third-place finish if the other match ends in a draw.

In Group C, meanwhile, Germany sent out a message to their rivals by slotting four goals past both Australia and Argentina. The European heavyweights will now try to add Mexico to their list of victims, although their opponents have also impressed and will be determined to ensure they seal an automatic qualifying berth for the last 16.

Elsewhere, Argentina have it all to do as they take on Australia. La Albiceleste need to put their two defeats behind them and clinch all three points if they are to have any chance of going through, while Australia know a second consecutive draw could spell their exit following their stalemate with Mexico. They too will be geared up for victory.

Player to watch
Abraham Romero (Mexico)
Forwards tend to grab most of the limelight, but the performances of Abraham Romero have been impossible to ignore, the Mexico goalkeeper being the main reason for his team's defensive solidity. Standing 6'2 tall, the Los Angeles Galaxy youth player has yet to concede after 180 minutes of football, keeping out eight shots in the games with Argentina and Australia, and he now faces his greatest test yet against Germany's fearsome attacking armada.

The stat
*10 – *Germany's eight goals in Chile have come from just ten shots on target, the European side displaying a clinical edge as they put Australia and Argentina to the sword.

The words
"We played our own game and found a way to win. Everything went well and we hope to continue in the same vein," Mali coach Baye Ba after the victory against Honduras.

*Match schedule*
Group C
Germany-Mexico (Talca, Estadio Fiscal, 19.00 local time)
Argentina-Australia (Chillan, Estadio Nelson Oyarzun Arenas, 19.00 local time)

Group D
Mali-Honduras (Chillan, Estadio Nelson Oyarzun Arenas, 16.00 local time)
Ecuador-Belgium (Talca, Estadio Fiscal, 16.00 local time)

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