FIFA U-17 World Cup: Germany stave off stubborn Guinea, qualify for Round of 16
Germany’s win over Guinea in a Group C encounter of FIFA U-17 World Cup means they have qualified for the Round of 16. However only two teams qualify from the group with both Costa Rica and Guinea finishing on one point each.fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 13, 2017 20:30 IST
Germany had to dig deep, but managed to clinch a 3-1 win over Guinea in their final Group C tie at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium today, sealing a place in the Round of 16 courtesy of finishing second in their group.
Goals from a Jann-Fiete Arp, Nicolas Kuehn and Sahverdi Cetin were enough for the Germans to notch a tight win over the African side, who had equalised through right back Ibrahima Soumah midway through the first half.
With the win, Germany have set up a Round of 16 clash against Colombia in New Delhi on Monday.
The European giants began the game well. Fiete-Arp was brought down by Guinea centre back Ismael Traore just outside the box in the very first minute of the game, earning him a yellow card.
The Germans continued to raid the Guinean half, and seven minutes later, Traore made a disastrous error when his attempted clearance hit an opponent and fell into the path of Arp.
Arp had enough time to adjust and finish past the goalkeeper as Germany took a 1-0 lead.
Guinea responded well after conceding the early goal. In the 15th minute, forward Doss Soumah was well-positioned to take a shot, but his attempt went well wide of the target.
Right back Ibrahima saw a long range effort of his in the 23rd minute go just wide of the bar.
Two minutes later, however, Guinea equalised. The German backline failed to clear a ball inside their half during an attack by their opponents. It fell to Ibrahima Soumah, who calmly finished from close range.
Guinea piled on the pressure after equalizing. Elhadj Bah’s attempt in the 32nd minute, when he turned and took a shot, was just wide of the goal. Nine minutes later, Doss Soumah failed to reach the end of a pass that was safely grabbed by German custodian Luca Plogmann.
Early in the second half, Guinea goalkeeper Mohamed Camara made a stunning double save to deny Germany the lead, with Nicolas Kuehn directing his shot straight towards the keeper.
Kuehn, however, redeemed himself for the miss when he found himself with ample space on the right side of the Guinean box in the 62nd minute. He slot the pass past the keeper to give Germany a 2-1 lead.
Minutes later, Guinea skipper Fandje Toure shot just over the bar as they continued to search for an equaliser.
In the 80th minute, Aguibou Camara shot wide from a Guinea counter as Germany had another major reprieve.
Four minutes later, captain Toure’s shot across the face of the goal missed everyone, including the goal.
While Germany survived, Guinea continued to throw men forward. Their attacking approach backfired in the second minute of stoppage time when Germany broke away.
Midfielder Sekou Camara brought down Germany forward Jessic Ngankam inside the box, and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.
Sahverdi Cetin, another substitute in the game, stepped up to convert the penalty and seal a 3-1 win for Germany. With the loss, Guinea have been knocked out of the tournament.
With Iran winning the other Group C game 3-0 against Costa Rica, only two teams from the group will progress to the Round of 16.
‘We won our tackles’
Germany coach Christian Wuck said his side was able to bounce back from the 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Iran due to their improved tackling against Guinea.
“The difference between today and the Iran game was that we got our tackles right,” he said.
“I think we have a team which is very strong on the offence. Against Costa Rica, we could have scored 5-6 goals. Today we could have scored 5-6 goals. This is an area we must improve on against Colombia (in the Round of 16),” he added.
Guinea coach Souleymane Camara lauded his team’s performances throughout the campaign, saying there were a lot of positives to take home.
“We are preparing this current crop of players for future tournaments. In 2023, Guinea will be hosting the 2023 African Cup of Nations. We will try to capitalise on our experience at the FIFA U-17 World Cup for the future,” he said.