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U-17 World Cup: Giantkillers Niger up against North Korea

Press Trust of India  |  Kochi 

Debutants Niger would look to continue their giant-killing run from the continental qualifying event when they take on a defensive in their opening Group D match of the U-17 here tomorrow.

Niger have never previously appeared at a at any level. When they walk out tomorrow at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium here, they will join and New Caledonia as the three debutants of the U- 17

The first-timers from are no pushovers and they would be looking to cause a few upsets as former champions have found out in the continental qualifiers.

The shock 1-0 win by Niger in a group match in Gabon in the African qualifiers sent the five-time FIFA U-17 champions crashing out of the event.

They went onto reach the semifinals to book a berth in this FIFA U-17 World Cup edition. Niger were beaten 5-6 on penalties by Ghana after a goalless semi-final and then went down 1-3 to Guinea in the match for third place, though they had already achieved their lofty objective by then.

Niger coach Soumaila Tiemogo is hoping that his side makes the same kind of impact and tomorrow's match could be the ideal start in a group which has title contenders Brazil and Spain.

"I can't guarantee that we'll go on and win the but I can guarantee that we'll make people talk about us, just like we did in Maybe we can't work miracles, but we can do our best," Tiemogo said before the tournament.

North Korea, on the other hand, are not one of the most attractive sides in world football. They believe more in having a strong and compact defense and do not normally play attacking football.

Of the four Asian qualifiers for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, were arguably the least impressive. They won just two of their five matches in the Asian qualifying tournament.

Aside from a 4-1 win over Thailand, displayed trademark pragmatism with goal-scoring at a premium. They defeated Yemen 2-0 but rounded out the group campaign with a 1-3 defeat at the hands of Uzbekistan.

Qualification for 2017 came via a penalty shoot-out win over Oman, before a defeat on penalties against Iran in the semi-final.

For both the opponents, a win tomorrow will be crucial. Whoever loses the match tomorrow, it will be difficult for them to proceed the knock-out stage as formidable Brazil and Spain are the clear favourites to finish in top two from this group.

The Teams (From):

North Korea: Sin Tae Song, Ri Hyok Sin, Kim Kyong Sok, Kye Tam, Sin Kwang Sok, Han Kyong Hun, Kim Hwi Hwang, Kim Ju Song, Kim Chung Jin, Kim Pom Hyok, Kung Jin Song, Ri Kang Guk, Ri Hyon Il, Han Jin Bom, Cha Kwang, Ri Il Ju, Yun Min, Jong Ryong Hun, Kwon Nam Hyok, Paek Kwang Min, Kim Chol Jin.

Niger: Moussa Laouali, Yacine Wa Massamba, Mahamadou Mahamane, Nasser Mahaman, Farouk Idrissa, Ismael Issaka, Habibou Sofiane, Kairou Amoustapha, Rachid Alfari, Karim Tinni, Djibrilla Ibrahim, Yacouba Aboubacar, Kader Aboubacar, Rachid Soumana, Abdoulaye Boubacar, Ibrahim Boubacar, Ibrahim Namata, Salim Abdourahmane, Hamid Galissoune, Khaled Lawali.

Match starts 8pm IST.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, October 06 2017. 11:42 IST