Much like the other groups, Group C comprised of 4 teams from different continents with the teams being Germany, Iran, Costa Rica and Guinea. The presence of Germany garnered the attention of locals who flogged to watch the Germans in action. But the team which ended catching everyone’s eye was Iran, who ended as the group victors collecting 3 wins out of a possible 3. Their 4-0 rout of an apparently more favoured Germany was, in particular, convincing. Germany ended as the runners up after winning two out of their games.
Image Courtesy: FIFA.com
All the matches in the group proved to be goal fests with a minimum of 3 goals being scored in every game. 6 players scored 2 goals each apiece. Delfi and Sayyad(Iran), Gomez(Costa Rica), Arp(Germany) and Guineans Toure and Soumah shared the honours of scoring the most goals in the group. Iran confirmed their progress to the next stages after beating Germany 4-0 in their second game while Germany needed a final day win against Guinea to confirm their progress.
GROUP WINNERS – IRAN
Iran qualified for this edition after finishing runners up to Iraq in the AFC U16 Football Championship, 2016. They were placed in pot 2 after some consistent performances in the previous editions of the u17 World Cup. Starting their World Cup ambitions with a match against Guinea, Iran struck thrice in the second half before conceding a late goal. Iran shocked everyone by thumping giants Germany 4-0 to announce themselves as dark horses for the tournament. They followed it up with a routine 3-0 victory over Costa Rica with two of the goals being penalties. Iran conceded just one goal in their matches and they scored 10 in the process.
The Iranians look like a major force being well equipped in all departments. Sayyad and Delfi each scored two goals apiece while Sharifi, Karimi, Namdari, Shariati, Sardari and Ghobeshavi scored one each thereby showing the amount of goal scoring options within the Iran team. They are surely one of the teams to watch out for as the tournament reaches its latter stages.
THE OTHER TEAM TO QUALIFY – GERMANY
The draw between Costa Rica and Guinea meant Germany had some breathing space in the race for the second qualifying spot. Germany ended comfortable winners against Guinea on the final day to progress to the next round. Germany scored 5 goals and conceded 6 in three games with Arp scoring 2 goals. They conceded 4 in a single game against Iran and the real capability of the team is yet to be seen.
KEY MATCHES/CRUCIAL ENCOUNTERS
IRAN 4-0 GERMANY
In a game that came as a shock to most of the spectators, Iran thrashed Germany 4-0 to prove their credentials at Fatorda Stadium, Margao. Delfi struck twice in the first half to give Iran a commanding lead before half time. The game didn’t end there as Sayyad and Namdari added one each to give Iran a memorable win.
GUINEA 1-3 GERMANY
In a do or die match for both teams, Guinea clashed with Germany needing a win to progress to the later stages of the tournament. However even a draw would have sufficed for Germany. Germany dominated the early stages of the game and Arp struck in the 8th minute to give the Germans the lead. Guinea equalised through Soumah to set the stage for an exciting second half. But Germany spoiled the party, scoring twice in the second half through Kuhn and Cetin in the 62nd and in the first minute of injury time respectively. The win, coupled with Iran’s victory over Costa Rica allowed Germany to progress as runners up.
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