FIFA U-17 WC: Quarterfinals line-up

After its defeat to Brazil in the opening match of the World Cup, the European champion found its feat by dispatching Niger and Korea DPR in the group stages. It came across a free-scoring French team in the Round-of-16 stage and prevailed 2-1 with the help of a stoppage time penalty.
Quarterfinal opponent: Iran
Top scorer: Abel Ruiz (3)
Goals scored: 8
Goals conceded: 3
Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar
Iran has had a near perfect run in the tournament so far. It made heads turn when it put on an efficient display in its 4-0 thrashing of Germany in the group stages. In the Round-of-16 stages, Mexico threatened to halt its run but Iran held its nerve to reach its first ever quarterfinal at this level. However, the Abbas Chamanian coached side will be without its pacy winger Younes Delfi, who is suspended.
Quarterfinal opponent: Spain
Top scorer: Allahyar Sayyad (3)
Goals scored: 12
Goals conceded: 3
Photo: K Murali Kumar
Samuel Fabin's side got off to a hard-fought 1-0 win against Colombia before facing a reverse in same scoreline in defeat to U.S.A. It then thumped a tired India 4-0 in its final group match to qualify as table toppers in Group A. It prevailed 2-0 in a West African duel against World Cup first timers Niger. Tougher tests lie ahead for the former champion.
Quarterfinal opponent: Mali
Top scorer: Eric Ayiah (3)
Goals scored: 7
Goals conceded: 1
Photo: AP
The German side has been quite dominating in the World Cup, except for the 0-4 loss it suffered to Iran in the group stage. It regrouped and came back strong to defeat Guinea 3-1 and reach the round of 16, where it thwarted Colombia 4-0. Germany takes on fellow heavy-weight Brazil in the quarterfinal. Could we see another 7-1 drubbing from the Germans? If main striker Arp is in form, it seems quite plausible.
Quarterfinal opponent: Brazil
Top scorer: Jann Fiette Arp (4)
Goals scored: 9
Goals conceded: 6
Photo: Prashant Nakwe
Mali's pace, power and movement in this tournament has proved too hot to handle for its opponents. After its opening day defeat to Paraguay, it bounced back well with Lassana N'Diaye and Djemoussa Traore proving to be a deadly combo up front. Iraq's coach cried foul when his team got trounced 5-1 by Jonas Komla's side in the pre-quarterfinals.
Quarterfinal opponent: Ghana
Top scorer: Lassana N'Diaye (5)
Goals scored: 13
Goals conceded: 5
Photo: K Murali Kumar
U.S.A started the World Cup with a bang as it registered clinical wins over host India and Ghana but was pushed into third place - qualifying as one of the four best third-placed sides into the knock out stages. John Hackworth's side turned on the style again in the Round-of-16 match against Paraguay when Tim Weah scored a sublime hat-trick to take his side through in a 5-0 win.
Quarterfinal opponent: England
Top scorer: Tim Weah (3)
Goals scored: 10
Goals conceded: 3
Photo: AP
England dispatched all comers in the group stages scoring 11 goals against Chile, Mexico and Iraq. Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho has been its standout performer but was recalled by his club before the knockout stages. His loss was telling in the Round-of-16 stage as the Steve Copper coached side struggled to score a goal against Japan and prevailed only on penalties.
Quarterfinal opponent: U.S.A
Top scorer: Jadon Sancho (3)
Goals scored: 11
Goals conceded: 2
Photo: PTI
Title favorite Brazil began its World Cup campaign with a strong 2-1 win over Spain, which was undoubtedly its toughest match so far. Lincoln and Brenner have stepped up in the absence of Vinicius Jr. and have ensured a steady supply of goals. The Brazilians blanked Honduras 3-0 in the pre-quarters and face a determined Germany in the quarters, in what promises to be an exciting encounter.
Quarterfinal opponent: Germany
Top scorer: Lincoln Dos Santos (3)
Goals scored: 9
Goals conceded: 1
Photo: AFP