The group D of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 consisted of a few big names who may be termed as potential candidates to win the title. With the likes of South American Giants Brazil, European Giants Spain, North Korea and the Niger U-17 National Team from Africa, Group D was definitely the group to be feared initially and was touted as the group of death by many.
Just as expected, the first match of the group between Brazil and Spain was an intriguing contest and was tightly contested. The next game between Niger and North Korea was pretty close as well just as the score line showed 1-0 in favour of the African team at the end of the game. The second match day of the group provided more goals as Spain triumphed 4-0 against Niger and Brazil scored two past the Asian team. The final match day also saw similar score lines as both Spain and Brazil scored two goals for none in return against North Korea and Niger respectively.
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Winners of the group | Brazil:
Coming back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 against one of the tough teams in the tournament, Brazil showed their character and valour against Spain. Trailing to an early own goal in the fifth minute, Brazil came into the game thanks to goals from Lincoln and Paulinho inside the first 45 minutes. In their second game against North Korea, both the goal scorers from first game added to their account as they eased past their way to the next round.
Only a draw was needed in the next game against Niger to cement their position as group winners however they proved better by winning 2-0 against the African side. Lincoln with his third goal in the tournament, sealed the win for Brazil along with a goal from his compatriot Brenner.
Other teams to qualify – Spain and Niger
Considered as one of the favourites to win the tournament, Spain came into the frame after lifting the European U-17 Championship in Croatia. Spain faced a tough task in their first game when they were drawn alongside Brazil and they failed to take even a point against the Selecao. However, Spain came back well into groove as they defeated Niger in an emphatic fashion. Spain secured their path to qualification when they won their final game against North Korea.
At the end of the regulation matches in Group Stages, Niger became the third team from the group to qualify as they qualified as the third best team in a pool of teams that had finished in third places along with the likes of USA, Honduras and Mexico. Niger’s only limelight was in their first game when they won against the North Koreans and it was all gloom and doom as they failed to a take up a single point in the next two games.
Key matches/crucial encounters
Brazil 2-1 Spain
The opening game of the Group D saw the CAF U-17 Champions Brazil take on the European U-17 Champions Spain in an intriguing contest. The result went in favour of the Selecao who came back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Lincoln and Paulinho. This game became an eye opener as to who will end as the group winners at the end of three games.
North Korea 0-1 Niger
The minnows of the group kicked off against each other in their opening game of the tournament. Abdourahmane opened the scoring for the African team at the end of the hour mark and it remained the only goal of the match as Niger won the game against the North Koreans keeping one foot into the path of the next round.