U-17 World Cup: Niger face stern Brazil test (Preview)

Margao, Oct 12: Debutants Niger will have an uphill task on thir way to qualification for the pre-quarterfinals as they take on three-time champions Brazil in a Group D clash of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup here on Thursday.

Niger had a dream start to the tournament when they won their opening encounter against North Korea. They, however, lost their next game to Spain.

Having three points from two outings, they have to win to ensure a berth in the knockout stages but against a rampant Brazilian side who have won both their ties against Spain and North Korea to top Group D and make it to the knock-out round, their task will be cut out.

"It going to be a tough match against Brazil which we have to win in order to qualify for the knock-out round. We have the potential to overcome the three times champions and are looking forward to the challenge," said Niger coach Ismaila Tiemoko.

Added, in Goa, where both teams will be playing for the first time after coming down from Kochi, Brazil will feel at home given they were also ruled by the Portuguese and have the same culture.

Brazil, who were also the runners-up twice, are looking to win the title for the fourth time.

The Brazilian trio of Lincoln, Paulinho and Brenner have combined well up front and have troubled their rival defence with their sublime skill.

Their midfield duo of Marcos Antonio and Alan Souza will keep the upfront busy with regular supply of passes.

"We are happy to come down to Goa, the place is similar to Brazil and we feel at home here as the weather is same like Brazil," said media manager Gregorio.

"We are happy to play our last match of the league down in Goa as there are lot of Brazilian fans staying here and they will come to cheer our team."

Squads:

Brazil: Gabriel Brazao, Wesley, Vitao. Lucas Halter, Victor Bobsin, Weverson, Paulinho, Marcos Antonio, Lincoln, Alan, Lucao, Matheus Stockl, Rodrigo Guth, Luan Candido, Victor Yan, Rodrigo Nestor, Vitinho, Yuri Alberto, Brenner, Yuri Sena.

Niger: Moussa Laouali, Yacine Wa Massamba, Mahamadou Mahamane, Nasser Mahaman, Farouk Idrissa, Ismael Issaka, Habibou Sofiane, Kairou Amoustapha, Rachid Alfari, Karim Tinni, Djibrilla Ibrahim, Yacouba Aboubacar, Kader Aboubacar, Rachid Soumana, Abdoulaye Boubacar, Ibrahim Boubacar, Ibrahim Namata, Salim Abdourahmane, Hamid Galissoune, Khaled Lawali.


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