Kochi: Germany will be keen to bounce back when they meet Guinea in their final Group C game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday. The Germans were handed a 4-0 drubbing by the Iranians in their previous encounter. In fact, the German colts have not been impressive in their campaign so far. They scraped past Costa Rica 2-1 before running into the red-hot Iranians.
To deliver under pressure is so typical of Germany and they should get the job done in Kochi. A win will seal their place in the round of 16. In fact even a draw may be enough to take them through. Guinea have only a solitary point and need a win to keep their slim hopes alive.
The lack of coordination between the German backline and goalkeeper Luca Plogmann cost them dearly against Iran. Another worry for coach Christian Wueck will be the fact that they have manged only two goals in the competition so far. Jann-Fiete Arp, who scored against Costa Rica, will be have to be in his element.
It will be a tall order for Guinea. The Africans have been below par and they will have come up with something special if they are to stretch the Germans.
Back on track
European champions Spain take on North Korea in their final Group D fixture scheduled for an 8 pm kick-off. The Spaniards got their campaign back on track with a rousing 4-0 win over Niger after suffering a 1-2 loss to Brazil in their opener. Captain and lethal striker Abel Ruiz was in the thick of things with a brace against the African debutants. He was ably assisted by Ferran Torres, Sergio Gomez, and Ceasar Gelabert. Spanish coach Santi Denia employed the 4-2-4 formation to great success against Niger and is likely to adopt the same tactic.
The North Koreans, who are yet to open their account – both on goals and points count, are staring at elimination. The doughty Asians managed to hold Brazil goalless in then first half before going down 0-2. They are likely to play a defensive game and look to catch the Spaniards off guard on counter attacks. La Roja have too much quality and it remains to be seen how long the Korean defense can hold firm.
Brazil, who play Niger in Goa, are likely to top the group, while Spain and Niger will be keen on securing their spots in the knockout phase.