FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Goa to host Germany and Iran, as fans also look forward to Brazil's match
Margao will play host to Germany, Iran, Guinea and Costa Rica with Brazil and Niger playing their final Group D match at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
With a capacity of 19,000, the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa is the smallest of all stadiums hosting the U-17 World Cup.
The home of Goan giants Dempo SC and Churchill Brothers SC from the I-league and ISL team FC Goa, the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will play host to European and Asian giants Germany and Iran respectively.
Joining them in Margao will be the West African nation of Guinea and the Central American team of Costa Rica.
However, the most anticipated match to be held at the locally known Fatorda Stadium will be the Group D encounter between Brazil and Niger.
The Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will also host two Round of 16 encounters as well as a quarter-final match.
Germany, who surprisingly have never won the U-17 World Cup, qualified after reaching the semi-finals of the 2017 UEFA European Under-17 Championship. Surprisingly, they only have one final’s appearance way back in 1985 when they competed as West Germany. They secured back-to-back third-place finishes in 2007 and 2011.
Costa Rica stormed through the Central American qualifying zone winning every game to reach the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. The Los Ticos again won all of their matches to make it to the classification round, where they were thumped 1-6 by Mexico. However, by virtue of finishing second in the classification group, Costa Rica qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Guinea were one of the first three teams to have competed in the inaugural tournament in China back in 1985, and since then, have made it to just three more editions. Guinea qualified for the U-17 World Cup by virtue of finishing third in the 2017 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations.
Although they are one of Asia’s biggest teams, Iran have only qualified twice for the U-17 World Cup before this year’s appearance. The Persian giants reached the finals of the 2016 AFC U-16 Championships where they lost to rivals Iraq on penalties.
The opening game in Margao on 7 October will see Germany take on Costa Rica at 5 pm while Iran face-off against Guinea at 8 pm.
The action will resume three days later on 10 October when Costa Rica and Guinea play the day’s first match at 5 pm followed by the Iran and Germany fixture which kicks-off at 8 pm.
On 13 October, Costa Rica meet Iran in the 5 pm fixture. The widely anticipated Group D encounter between Niger and Brazil sees the end of the group stage matches at Margao.
The team which top Group C will return to Margao on 17 October to face the team which finish third in Groups A, B or F at 5 pm. The 8 pm fixture will see the second placed teams from Groups B and F taking each other on.
Margao will also be the venue for the quarter-final which will take place at 8 pm on 21 October.
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