- Brazil and Iran book spots in the Round of 16
- Germany left stunned by four-goal defeat
- Guinea held to frustrating draw by Costa Rica
DAY REPLAYED - There was joy for some and defeat for others in the second round of Group D games at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, as Brazil booked their ticket to the knockout stages. The South Americans saw off a Korea DPR side still in the running, despite a pair of losses, while rivals Spain put their opening reverse behind them by beating Niger, who failed to reach the same giddy heights as in their debut victory.
In Group C, Costa Rica dropped two points but can feel relieved to have escaped with a draw after coming under sustained pressure against Guinea. The result did few favours for either side, but it proved the perfect outcome for Iran, who sealed their spot in the last 16 after springing a major shock against Germany. Iran and Brazil will be joined by USA, who are now guaranteed a berth as one of the best third-placed teams, at the very least.
Costa Rica 2-2 Guinea
Iran 4-0 Germany
Spain 4-0 Niger
Korea DPR 0-2 Brazil
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What we learned
1. Mind the gap: On a day when an enterprising Guinea side turned heads, it was no easy task selecting the team's most eye-catching statistic. How about the 1'3 height difference between their tallest and shortest players, goalkeeper Mohamed Camara measuring 6'4 compared to 5'1 defender Samuel Conte – which made for a memorable sight, as the duo lined up ahead of kick-off? Or how about their 42 shots, which resulted in just two goals over 90 minutes against Costa Rica? Despite their domination, Le Syli Cadet were thwarted time and time again by an inspired Ricardo Montenegro, who pulled off nine saves from Guinea's 14 attempts on target.
2. Fans light the way: When Brazil arrived in Kochi to take on Korea DPR, fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium must have been expecting a dazzling spectacle from the tournament's most successful team. Instead, the two sides did little to thrill the crowd until the Auriverde opened the scoring close to the hour mark, but nothing could dampen the festive mood in the stands. The locals set the tone by chanting "India, India," which served as a homage both to their own side, who scored their maiden World Cup goal on Monday, and to the host nation itself, impeccable since the competition kicked off. Activating the torches on their mobile phones, the fans also served up a splendid appetizer to Diwali, with the important Indian festival of lights due to begin in the coming days.
3. Underdogs roar: Iran's record at this level gave little reason for optimism, as they prepared to tackle Germany in Goa, Team Melli boasting just four wins across four separate campaigns – their most recent coming against Guinea in their India 2017 opener. Buoyed by 45 victories in ten appearances, the Germans began the match as heavy favourites, and a gulf between the teams did soon open up – just not in the way anyone expected. It was Iran who ultimately laid down the law, prevailing 4-0 as they cast off their underdog tag and swept aside the weight of history.
The stat of the day
100 - Spain's 4-0 success against Niger took the victors into triple figures for goals at the U-17 World Cup. La Rojita had found the net 98 times before kick-off and reached their century thanks to Abel Ruiz, who brought up the landmark with a first-half double.
"He was excellent today. He made at least seven great saves and denied us goals. He was the reason why we did not win today. Costa Rica should be proud of him. He saved them."
Guinea coach Souleymane Camara on Costa Rica goalkeeper Ricardo Montenegro