FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: A look at Guwahati, hosts to 2001 winners France and debutants New Caledonia

Guwahati will see tournament debutants New Caledonia rubbing shoulders with 2001 winners France as well as Honduras and Asian giants Japan.

FP Sports July 22, 2017 18:23:44 IST
FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: A look at Guwahati, hosts to 2001 winners France and debutants New Caledonia

Home of the Indian Super League (ISL) team NorthEast United FC, the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, a 23,800-seater arena in Guwahati, was built in 2007 when the city hosted the 33rd National Games.

The Sarusajai Stadium, as it is locally known, will host Group E of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup that includes 2001 winners France, as well as tournament debutants New Caledonia, along with Asian heavyweights Japan and Central American nation Honduras.

The stadium will also be the venue for the Group F tie between Mexico and Chile.

FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 A look at Guwahati hosts to 2001 winners France and debutants New Caledonia

Now, a brief look at the teams that are to fight it out at Guwahati for a place in the knockouts.

Champions in 2001, France qualified for the tournament, courtesy of being the fifth-best team at the 2017 UEFA U-17 Championship. The Les Bleuets will only be making their sixth appearance at the U-17 World Cup and will be looking to do a repeat of their run 16 years ago that saw them beat Nigeria 3-0 in the finals.

Honduras had a decent run in the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship where they came second in both the group stage and the classification stage to qualify for the U-17 World Cup. The Los Catrachos will make their sixth appearance at the tournament and would be hoping to better their 2013 performance when they reached the quarter-finals.

The 2017 U-17 World Cup will be Japan's eighth U-17 World Cup appearance, with them having made it to the quarter-finals twice. In the 2016 AFC U-16 Championship, Japan netted 24 times while conceding only four goals as they made it to the semi-finals.

New Caledonia, like hosts India, will be making their debut at a FIFA tournament at the U-17 World Cup. A collection of islands tucked away in the Pacific Ocean some 1,200 km from Australia, New Caledonia made it to the finals of the 2017 OFC U-17 Championship only to be thumped 7-0 by New Zealand.

The first match to be played at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium will see New Caledonia face off against France on 8 October at 5 pm followed by Honduras taking on Japan at 8 pm.

Japan and France, favourites to qualify from the group stage, will face each other in the first match on 11 October, while Honduras and New Caledonia play each other at 8 pm.

France will play the third of their 5 pm matches when they take on Honduras on 14 October. The second match of the day will see Group F teams Mexico and Chile play each other.

Guwahati will also host the Round of 16 tie between Group E toppers and the second-placed team in Group D.

A quarter-final and a semi-final are also scheduled to be played at this stadium.

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