FIFA U-17 World Cup: Costa Rica favoured to topple Guinea after opening loss

Costa Rica will be aiming to bounce back in the FIFA U-17 World Cup after losing their opening game to Germany while Guinea will be disappointed to have not sustained a good start after going down to Iran.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 09, 2017 18:59 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Margao
FIFA U-17 World Cup,FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017,Football
Costa Rica conceded a last-minute goal against Germany in their opening FIFA U-17 World Cup game while Guinea lost 1-3 to Iran.(PTI)

Thanks to their spirited performance against Germany, Costa Rica will start favourites when they face Guinea in the Group C clash of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Tuesday.

The Central Americans came mighty close to earning a draw against Germany before conceding in the last minute of regulation time to go down 2-1. Guinea, after starting well against Iran, capsized in the second half as the Asian side steamrolled them, triumphing 3-1.

It will be a do-or-die encounter as the teams look to keep their chances alive of making it to the round of 16.

Guinea coach Souleymane Camara cited humidity as one of the reasons for their capitulation, saying, “Players got tired in the second half, and as a result we couldn’t control the ball as we did in the first half.”

While both teams look dangerous going forward, Camara and his counterpart Breansse Camacho will have to iron out flaws in their defence, which resulted in their defeats in the previous encounters.

Both teams have some exciting talent in their ranks. For Costa Rica, the ones to watch out will be skipper and forward Jose Alfaro, Andres Gomez -- he scored their only goal against Germany -- and goalkeeper Ricardo Montenegro, who made a series of brilliant saves against Germany.

Guinea will bank on the physical presence of forwards Fandje Toure and Naby Bangoura to unlock the Costa Rica defence which at times struggled against the physical prowess of German forward Jann-Fiete Arp.

If luck had favoured Guinea forward Toure, he could have scored a hat-trick instead of the consolation goal against Iran. Coach Camara will hope his star forward shines bright on Tuesday as well.

Toure played a key role in Guinea qualifying for the World Cup and he also finished as top-scorer in the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.

First Published: Oct 09, 2017 18:59 IST