Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

FIFA: Hosts Mexico claim Under-17 trophy in style (+video)

Posted in International Football by peterbein on July 11, 2011

FIFA World U-17 Championship logoThe FIFA World Under-17 Championship has been won by hosts Mexico in what was a thrilling climax to a hugely successful tournament.

Mexico got to the final having topped Group A ahead of Congo, North Korea and European champions the Netherlands before getting past Panama, France and Germany in the knockout rounds. Uruguay came second in Group D behind England but managed to defeat Congo, Uzbekistan and neighbours Brazil en route to the final which was played in the Estadio Azteca on Sunday.

The mecca of Mexican football was crammed with 100,000 spectators which proved just how important it is for the local football fans to get to see the next generation of players to grace the shirt of El Tri. Antonio Briseño sent the home fans wild in the 31st  minute when turning the home from close range to give the hosts the lead. The game wasn’t settled until the second minute of stoppage time when Giovani Casillas held his nerve to slot the ball past Uruguayan keeper Jonathan Cubero to secure the game and the tournament for the Mexicans.

Not only did Mexico emerge triumphant from this competition but they shone in the individual awards too. Julio Gómez won the Golden Ball after winning the player of the tournament award whilst compatriots Jonathan Espericueta and Carlos Fierro won the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball respectively. Amongst the other significant awards in the tournament the Ivory Coast’s Souleymane Coulibany won the Golden Boot award after top scoring in this year’s competition with nine goals, the aforementioned Cubero won the Golden Glove award as the tournament’s best goalkeeper whilst the Japanese team went away with the Fair Play trophy.

Mexico are world champions at this level for the second time in their history following their previous triumph in the 2005 tournament held in Peru but they will still have to qualify for the next tournament which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in two years’ time. Only the host nation qualifies automatically for that tournament.

FIFA: Congo upset the Dutch in U-17 Championship

Posted in International Football by peterbein on June 19, 2011

FIFA World U-17 ChampionshipThe 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