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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Chile aim to replicate continental form on world stage

Chile could spring a surprise in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, much like the senior team did during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Sep 23, 2017 19:39 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
FIFA U-17 World Cup,FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017,Chile football team
Chile have the quality within their ranks to spring a surprise in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. (FIFA)

Chile finished second in the South American championships this term. Should they get out of this really difficult group, even as a best third-placed team, Chile could spring a surprise pretty much like their senior team has since 2014 when they dumped defending champions Spain out of the World Cup at the Maracana.

Having hosted the 2015 edition, Chile progressed to the pre-quarter finals where they lost 1-4 to Mexico. They played the U-17 World Cup twice before that, in 1993 and 1997.

They played two four-nation tournaments in the build-up to the World Cup and were held 1-1 by India in one. But then, they beat Belgium and Poland and drew with France to win the other.

KNOW THE COACH: Hernan Caputto

This former goalkeeper is another in the long list of Argentines who have helped Chile develop; a list that includes Marcelo Biesla, Jorge Sampaoli but like Uruguayan Nelson Acosta, Caputto, 42, is a Chile citizen and has never played in the country of his birth. He has been with the team since March 2016.

PAST PERFORMANCE: 3rd place: 1993. Round of 16: 2015. Group stage: 1997. Did not qualify: 1985-91, 95-2013.

PASSAGE TO INDIA: Qualified by finishing runners-up in South American championships

Results in South American championships: Bt Venezuela 1-0, bt Colombia 1-0, lost 0-2 to Paraguay, bt Ecuador 1-0, Lost 0-5 to Brazil.

POSSIBLE GAME-CHANGERS

Name: Julio Borquez

Age: 17

Club: Deportes Iquique

Position: Goalkeeper.

Why he is special: Yet to make a senior team appearance but deemed good enough to be in the roster of the team that finished second in the Primera Division and be in the U20 squad.

Name: Gaston Zuniga

Age: 17

Club: Not known

Position: Defender

Why he is special: An aggressive defender who also has a knack of finding the target. He was booked four times in 10 games of the South American championships. He scored the matchwinners in 1-0 wins against Colombia and Ecuador.

Name: Ignacio Mesias

Age: 16.

Club: Union San Felipe

Position: Forward.

Why he is special: He has already made two appearances, as a substitute, for the club’s senior team and has been on the bench for six games this season.

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 18:04 IST