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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Late start means heat won’t be an issue, says Germany coach

fifa-u17-world-cup-2017 Updated: Oct 18, 2017 23:12 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Germany won’t be affected by the heat during a late kick-off, says coach Christian Wuck.
Germany won’t be affected by the heat during a late kick-off, says coach Christian Wuck. (Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

Germany’s requirement to be at their best in this FIFA U-17 World Cup is simple: all they need is a good pitch. Weather conditions don’t matter, said coach Christian Wuck on Wednesday.

Germany are in Kolkata for Sunday’s quarter-final after cruising 4-0 past Colombia and though they seemed more comfortable playing in New Delhi, where it was cooler, after being based in Goa, Wuck said it won’t make a difference.

“But it is very good that we are playing at 8pm which means it would be less than 30 degrees (Centigrade),” he said, after a light workout with some of his players late in the morning when the temperature and humidity was more than what Wuck would have described as ideal.

“It is very hot here but it is not important that we played in New Delhi last. All we need is a good pitch. The pitch in New Delhi was good and I am sure it will be so here too,” said Wuck.

That Germany have won four men’s World Cup titles but are yet to be champions as teenagers --- their best is a third-place finish in 2007 --- doesn’t bother his boys, said Wuck. “For us, development is very important. It doesn’t matter that we haven’t won this World Cup.

“We have a good programme and our target now is to get these boys to be good enough to play at the U-18 level. That is the first step. So it is important that players take part in tournaments as these. It becomes an important part of their development,” said Wuck.

Germany will miss wide player Dennis Jastrzembski, who is suspended for the quarter-final. They began with a laboured 2-1 win against Costa Rica, were stunned 0-4 by Iran before recovering to beat Guinea 3-1 and qualify for the round of 16.

Their best match so far came in the first knockout round where they made the most of some basic errors from Colombia.

Germany have qualified for the semi-finals thrice earlier, in 1997, 2007 and 2011. Their best finish came in 1985 when Germany lost to Nigeria in the final in a tournament that was then for U-16s.

First Published: Oct 18, 2017 17:04 IST

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