FIFA U-17 WC: Guinea falls short of its expectations

The tiny African nation can take pride from the fact that it dominated its rivals - Iran, Costa Rica and Germany - in each of the three matches it played in the World Cup.

Guinea U-17 football team finished third in its group behind Iran and Germany.   -  PTI

As the final whistle blew, all the Guinea players slumped to the ground exhausted. They had given their best but still couldn’t beat Germany and it ended Guinea’s dreams of qualifying for the knock out phase of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

The tiny African nation can however, take pride from the fact that it dominated its rivals in each of the three matches it played in the World Cup. Even in the defeat against Germany, Guinea had more tries at the goal than its rival. But for all the energy and verve, Guinea showed it didn’t score enough goals. Perhaps it was its inexperience and indecision in front of the goal that prevented the team from progressing any further in the tournament.

MATCH REPORT: Guinea 1 - 3 Germany

The African nation played a style similar to that of Brazil but it didn’t have the finesse of the South American. Nevertheless, the unbridled aggression of Guinea players earned them praise from fans and that of their rivals

But it was not something which coach Souleymane Camara had bargained for when he brought his boys to the World Cup with the obvious intention of qualifying for the next round. "The realistic goal was to qualify for the second round,’’ he had announced when he arrived in India

After the defeat against Germany, Souleymane Camara put things in perspective at the post match conference saying "to win you need to score goals or you go back home disappointed."

"We have had at least 30 chances in the three games we played in the World Cup. We had about 60 per cent of possession. In those matches But we weren’t able to convert those and it is something we must work on,’’ said Camara.

The Guinea team also showcased some exciting footballers who will form the core of the team when Guinea prepares to host its first African Nations Cup in 2023.

Fandje Toure, Doss Soumah and Elhadj Bah gave glimpses of their talent, so did the goalkeeper Mohamed Camara whose keeping against Germany drew praise from the coach. "We are trying to build a team for the future. Some of the players in this team can in the future play for the senior team," said Camara.

"We had some good memories and a few painful ones as well in this tournament. We let ourselves down,’’ Camara added. And it will take sometime for bad memories to fade away.

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