FIFA: Congo upset the Dutch in U-17 Championship
The FIFA Under-17 World Championship got under way in Mexico yesterday with the first four games taking place. The most outstanding result on the opening day undoubtedly came in Group A where Congo sealed a fantastic 1-0 win over the Netherlands to win their first game in the finals of this tournament for 20 years.
Congo qualified for this tournament having finished third in the 2011 African U17 championship and were not known to many followers before the game kicked off. However their reward for qualifying for the nation’s first World Championship since 1991, where they failed to get beyond the group stage, was an opening day clash against the Dutch who qualified for the competition as European Under-17 champions. Justalain Kounkou scored the only goal of the game after 53 minutes to ensure a dream start to the competition and now the Congans will have to meet tournament hosts Mexico and North Korea in the next two games with renewed hope that they can gain one of the top two places in the group.
In the other Group A match Mexico kicked off with a 3-1 win in front of their home supporters against Asian Under-17 champions North Korea. After Jo Kwang had given the Koreans a shock early lead in the 3rd minute the Mexicans got back on track with strikes from Carlos Fierro, Giovani Casillas and an own goal from Jong Kwang-Sok helping the hosts to an opening day three points and with hopes of a second title to follow their 2005 triumph restored. In Group B the French got their campaign off to a great start with a 3-0 opening win over Argentina with all of the goals scored in the first half by Yassine Benzia (2) and Sebastien Haller. In the final game of the opening day Japan’s Masaya Matsumoto scored the only goal in his country’s 1-0 win over Jamaica.
There are six groups in total in the World Under-17 Championship and they are listed below:
GROUP A: Congo, Mexico, Netherlands, North Korea
GROUP B: Argentina, France, Jamaica, Japan
GROUP C: Canada, England, Rwanda, Uruguay
GROUP D: Czech Republic, New Zealand, United States, Uzbekistan
GROUP E: Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Germany, Panama
GROUP F: Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Ivory Coast