FIFA U-17 World Cup: Five memorable moments from the tournament
A look at five of the best moments from a memorable and record breaking FIFA U-17 World Cup.fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 29, 2017 17:45 IST
The FIFA U-17 World Cup came to a befittingly thrilling end as England clinched their maiden title, coming from 2-0 down to beat Spain 5-2 in the final at Kolkata. This result means that England have won both the U-20 and U-17 World Cups in the same year, writing a promising new chapter for youth football in the country.
The tournament itself was littered with great moments that will undoubtedly live on in the minds of those who witnessed them. Hindustan Times takes a look at five of the best moments from a memorable FIFA U-17 World Cup:
Jeakson Thounaojam makes history
This tournament marked the debut of India in a FIFA tournament, meaning whoever scored India’s first goal would forever etch their name into the history books. That honour fell to central midfielder Jeakson Thounaojam, who scored the equaliser against Colombia in India’s second group game.
India’s joy was short-lived, as Colombia scored a winning goal through Juan Penaloza just a minute later. But Jeakson’s goal is something that won’t be forgotten by Indian football fans.
Rhian Brewster’s hat-trick vs Brazil
Rhian Brewster had already scored a hat-trick against USA in the quarterfinal, but his performance against Brazil in the semi-final is something both the striker and English fans will cherish.
Brazil were seen as pre-tournament favourites by many and had the full support of the Kolkata crowd. But Brewster showed his class once again as he scored thrice to guide England into their maiden FIFA U-17 World Cup final.
Iran shock the world
Iran came into the tournament a reinvigorated side, having lost the finals of the AFC U-16 Championships on penalties to Iraq. And whilst some expected them to do well and make it out of the group, it’s fair to say they surpassed all expectations with their performances.
They finished on top of Group C, registering a shocking 4-0 win over football heavyweights Germany. They even made it to the quarterfinals of the tournament for the first time, losing to eventual finalists Spain. But even in defeat, Iran showed just how far they have come as a footballing nation.
Phil Foden dominates the final
Before the final, most of the focus was on whether Rhian Brewster would be able to fire England to their maiden U-17 World Cup final. And whilst he did score England’s first goal, the person who truly inspired the Young Lions to victory was Phil Foden.
Foden is a highly rated prospect at Manchester City and has already been praised by Pep Guardiola. Against Spain he put in a commanding midfield performance, scoring two goals and dictating generally causing the Spanish defence plenty of problems.
New Caledonia win hearts
New Caledonia made their FIFA U-17 World Cup debut in India. They qualified for the tournament after a 7-0 loss in the final of the OFC U-17 Championships against New Zealand, meaning expectations from the tiny nation were minimal.
Having lost 7-1 and 5-0 to France in their first two Group E games, everyone assumed they would suffer another heavy defeat to Japan. However, New Caledonia managed to hold the Asian giants to a 1-1 draw and exit the tournament with their heads held high.