The U17 World Cup will kick-off tomorrow morning Australia time, 24 nations fighting it out to be crowned the princes of international U17 football in Brazil.
The competitors have been sorted into six groups for the tournament, with each group’s top two finishers set to automatically qualify for the round of 16. The four best third-place finishers will also advance to the Round of 16.
From that stage, matches that end without a winner after 90 minutes will go straight to penalties.
Australia – looking to one better than their final defeat at the 1999 edition of the tournament – have been drawn into Group B for the tournament alongside Ecuador, Hungary and Nigeria.
Squad: 1 Adam PAVLESIC. 2 Idrus ABDULAHI. 3 Daniel WALSH. 4 Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS. 5 Izaack POWELL. 6 Ryan TEAGUE. 7 Tristan HAMMOND. 8 Birkan KIRDAR. 9 Noah BOTIC. 10 Caleb WATTS. 11 Ali AUGLAH. 12 Oliver KALAC. 13 Joshua RAWLINS. 14 Trent OSTLER. 15 Anton MLINARIC. 16 Luke DUZEL. 17 Yaya DUKULY. 18 Nicholas BILOKAPIC. 19 Michael RUHS. 20 Luis LAWRIE-LATTANZIO. 21 Cameron PEUPION
Head Coach: Trevor Morgan
How They Qualified: Australia’s U17s, known as the Joeys, qualified for Brazil 2019 as one of four representatives of the Asian Football Confederation – the other three being Japan, South Korea and Tajikistan.
Going down 3-0 to South Korea in their opening game of the AFC U16 Championships, Australia bounced back with wins over Iraq and Afghanistan. A come-from-behind, 3-2 win over Indonesia in the quarterfinals then confirmed their place at Brazil 2019.
U17 World Cup Record: Australia enter the U17 World Cup as, according to FIFA’s rankings, the ninth-best nation in the competition’s history. The Joeys have qualified for the U17 showcase 12 times since it began and have reached the knock-out stages on eight occasions.
The Joeys’ best result came at the 1999 tournament in New Zealand, when the side reached the final before losing in a penalty shootout to Brazil.
One to Watch: Noah Botic
The 17-year-old was Australia’s leading scorer at the AFC U16 Championships, finding the back of the net on five occasions. Spending the past few seasons at NPL NSW side Rockdale City Suns, Botic recently spurned interest from boyhood club Manchester United to sign with German club Hoffenheim.
Fixture (AEDT): vs Ecuador – 10:00am, 27/10/2019 | vs Hungary – 10:00am, 30/10/2019 | vs Nigeria – 07:00am, 2/11/2019
All of the Joeys games at the U17 World Cup will be live on SBS
1 Joan LOPEZ. 2 Jordan MORAN. 3 Piero HINCAPIE. 4 Hanssel DELGADO. 5 Marco ANGULO. 6 Roberto CABEZAS. 7 Jeremy FARFAN. 8 Silvano ESTACIO. 9 Edwin VALENCIA. 10 Johan MINA. 11 Adrian MEJIA. 12 Gilmar NAPA. 13 Edwin RODRIGUEZ. 14 Erick PLUAS. 15 Patrickson DELGADO. 16 Klever VERA. 17 John MERCADO. 18 Jhoanner CHAVEZ. 19 Pedro VITE. 20 Derihan RIVERA. 21 Elias VALENCIA
Head Coach: Jose Rodriguez
How They Qualified: The final side from South America to secure their place at the World Cup, Ecuador twice avoided elimination by the skin of their teeth on the road to Brazil 2019.
Advancing through to the second round of the South American U17 Championships as the third and final qualifier from Group A, the Ecuadorians then found them staring down the barrel of elimination ahead of the final stages’ final match-day.
Entering the slate of games two points adrift of fourth-placed Uruguay and two goals back from fifth-placed Peru, Rodriguez’s squad was somehow able to put four goals past eventual champions Argentina and book their place at the World Cup after Peru defeated Uruguay 3-2.
U17 World Cup Record: Ecuador will competing in the fifth U17 World Cup at Brazil 2019 with the omens baring well for their success: La Tri having advanced to the quarterfinals on both occasions they’ve competed at a South American-hosted U17 World Cup.
One To Watch: Johan Mina
Attacker Mina, who plays for Ecuadorian side Club Sport Emelec when at clubland, netted six times during the hyper competitive South American qualifiers, including a vital brace against the Argentines in the final game.
The youngster possesses enough talent that European giants FC Barcelona will reportedly having their scouts observe his performances during Ecuador’s time in Brazil.
Fixture (AEDT): vs Australia – 10:00am, 27/10/2019 | vs Nigeria – 07:00am, 30/10/2019 | vs Hungary – 07:00am, 2/11/2019