Both France U-17 and United States U-17 have joined Spain U-17, Senegal U-17, and England U-17 in the round of 16 of this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup after the two nations had prevailed over their opponents in Wednesday’s matches at the Jakarta International Stadium.
Having beaten Burkina Faso 3-0 in their first match, France were met with a much sterner test in the form of South Korea for their second outing. The Young Les Bleus actually took the lead after just two minutes courtesy of a well-taken finish by Mathis Amougou following a corner kick.
However, South Korea immediately went on the defensive following the goal, preventing France from cushioning themselves with an additional goal. The Young Taeguk Warriors relied on counters in hitting back the French, which they almost did in the 58th minute. Jin Tae-ho received an excellent ball from Baek In-woo, however his shot missed its target and rattled the goalpost instead.
In the end, France were unable to breach their way past the South Korean defense, but at the same time they were able to retain their slender lead, clinching a round of 16 ticket with a slim and hard-fought 1-0 win.
The United States joined France in the knockouts after a slender victory of their own as well, overcoming Burkina Faso 2-1. Goals in stoppage time from Keyrol Figueroa and Nimfascha Berchimas meant that the USA had a healthy 2-0 advantage going into the break, however the Star and Stripes must contend with a stubborn Burkina Faso side in the second half, with the Africans slashing the deficit by half in the 89th minute courtesy of Jack Diarra.
Both South Korea and Burkina Faso’s hopes of qualifying for the round of 16 are still alive, however, with a spot in the best third placers still up for grabs. The two nations will face-off against each other in a duel to the death on November 18th at the Si Jalak Harupat Stadium in Soreang, with the winners potentially going through to the knockouts as one of the four best third placers should the other matches go their way.
Wednesday’s action also saw Germany clinching a spot in the round of 16 thanks to a 3-1 win over New Zealand at the Si Jalak Harupat, while Mexico and Venezuela played out a 2-2 stalemate.