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Under-17 World Cup Digest: New Zealand first team to arrive

Source: PTI
September 22, 2017 22:59 IST
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The official ball of the FIFA under-17 football World Cup

IMAGE: The official ball of the FIFA under-17 football World Cup. Photograph: FIFA.COM/Twitter

The New Zealand team arrived in Mumbai for the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be played across six cities in India.

The team arrived on Friday afternoon and was taken to a hotel in suburban Andheri by the Mumbai District Football Association President Aaditya Thackeray.

New Zealand are placed in Group B along with Turkey, Paraguay and Mali.

They will play their first two group matches against Turkey (on October 6) and Paraguay (October 9) at D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai before flying to New Delhi for the third game against Mali on October 12.

The Kiwis will look to do better than they did in the last edition of tournament two years ago in Chile, where they defeated Paraguay 2-1 to make the Round of 16.

They lost in the play-off stages to Brazil (1-0) but showed huge promise on the world stage.

Brazil, England, New Zealand to train, play at Andheri complex

Three-time champions Brazil, England and New Zealand are to train and play a few practice games at the Mumbai Football Arena in suburban Andheri here in the run-up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup scheduled in India from October 6-28.

"Around the same time, the senior Indian team will also be practicing there for the Macau game (Asian Cup qualifier)," said Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) president Aditya Thackeray at a media conference on Friday.

Brazil will play against New Zealand in a practice game on September 28 at the Andheri Sports Complex with the kick-off scheduled at 5 pm.

"On September 30 Brazil want to play against a senior Indian (club) team," he said, adding that a third practice game will also be held at the same venue on October 1 between the U-17 World Cup sides of England and New Zealand.

According to sources in MDFA, three senior outfits -- Navy, Air India and Pune City FC -- have been sounded out to be ready to play the game against the Brazil U-17 World Cup outfit.

In all, eight games in the tournament, comprising six preliminary group fixtures, a round of 16 game and one semi-final match, are scheduled to be held at Navi Mumbai's D Y Patil Stadium.

Although Brazil and England won't be playing any of their preliminary group games in the D Y Patil Stadium, they have preferred to start their preparations in this metropolis.

Brazil have been placed in Group D along with DPR Korea, Niger and Spain, while England -- who have made it to the age group tournament's finals for only the fourth time -- are in Group F that also contains Iraq, Mexico and Chile.

Brazil kick off their campaign against Spain at Kochi on October 7, while England begin theirs against Chile at Kolkata on the next day.

New Zealand, figuring in the U-17 tournament finals for the eighth time, have been grouped in Pool B with Mali, Paraguay and Turkey.

The Kiwis are set to play on the first day of the tournament itself at the D Y Patil Stadium against Turkey, who had made the grade in 2005 and 2009.

US names squad for FIFA U-17 World Cup

Star players Josh Sargent and Tim Weah -- bound for top-flight European clubs -- will lead a 21-member strong United States squad in the upcoming FIFA Under-17 World Cup in India.

The US Soccer Federation has named 17 players who were part of the team that played in the qualifying tournament -- 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship in April -- in which it had finished second.

The USA are in Group A along with hosts India, Colombia and Ghana. They will open their campaign against India on October 6, followed by matches against Ghana on October 9 and

Colombia on October 12.

The first two matches will be played at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, while the final group game will be played at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

In all, 12 of the 21 players on the roster come from Major League Soccer clubs.

Sargent will sign with Bundesliga (German League) club Werder Bremen next February when he turns 18. He also played at the U-20 World Cup in Korea earlier this year, making him the first US player since Freddy Adu in 2003 to play in the U-20 and U-17 World Cups in the same year.

Weah, son of former FIFA World Player of the Year and Liberia great George Weah, signed with Paris Saint Germain earlier this year.

Prior to the competition, the U-17 side coached by John Hackworth, will train in Dubai, beginning on September 24. They will arrive in New Delhi on October 1.

USA have participated in 15 of the 16 editions of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, having only missed out in 2013. Their best showing came in New Zealand in 1999, when Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Oguchi Onyewu helped the Americans to a fourth-place finish, narrowly missing out on a spot in the final after losing to Australia on penalties in the semi-finals.

The Americans reached the quarter-finals on four other occasions, most recently at Peru 2005. Last time out at Chile in 2015, USA failed to emerge from the group stage for the first time since 2001.

The USA Squad:

Goalkeepers: Alex Budnik, Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin Garces.

Defenders: Sergino Dest, Christopher Gloster, Jaylin Lindsey, James Sands, Tyler Shaver, Akil Watts.

Midfielders: George Acosta, Taylor Booth, Christopher Durkin, Blaine Ferri, Chris Goslin, Indiana Vassilev.

Forwards: Ayo Akinola, Andrew Carleton, Jacobo Reyes, Bryan Reynolds, Joshua Sargent, Tim Weah.

Ghana names squad for FIFA U-17 World Cup

India's Group A opponents and title contenders Ghana have named a strong 21-man squad for next month's FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

The Black Starlets boss Paa Kwesi Fabin has strengthened his squad with seven new players who were not part of their campaign in the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon.

Among the squad are seven players from Ghana Premier League clubs with the rest of them playing for lower tier sides.

Ghana, two-time champions at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1991 and 1995, are looking to end their 22-year trophy drought in a tricky group. They are placed in Group A along with hosts India, Colombia and United States of America.

They play their first group match against Colombia in the tournament opener on October 6 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

This will be Ghana's ninth appearance in the FIFA U-17 World Cup and are one of the favourites considering their performance in the CAF qualifiers.

Besides the two titles, they have finished runners-up twice (1993 and 1997) while finishing third in the 1999 edition.

The Ghana Squad:

Goalkeepers: Ibrahim Danlad, Michael Acquaye, Kwame Aziz.

Defenders: Najeeb Yakubu, Gideon Mensah, Bismark Terry Owusu, Edmund Arko-Mensah, Abdul Razak Yusif, Gideon Acquah, Rashid Alhassan, John Otu.

Midfielders: Isaac Gyamfi, Gabriel Leveh, Ibrahim Sulley, Mohammed Kudus, Emmanuel Toku, Mohammed Iddriss.

Strikers: Eric Ayiah, Richard Danso, Mohammed Aminu, Ibrahim Sadiq.

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