New Zealand braces up for Brazil challenge

The two U-17 teams face off in a practice match at the Mumbai Football Arena.

Brazil, the three-time FIFA U-17 World Cup winner, arrives in Mumbai for its practice match against New Zealand.   -  Vijay Bate

New Zealand is determined to surprise rivals in FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017. Its practice match against Brazil on Thursday at Mumbai Football Arena will help it gear up to face the world’s best teenagers in the marquee event next month.

The Oceania Football Confederation U-17 champion came through an easier route than qualifiers from South America or Europe.

 

Its coach Danny Kay, said: “We are under no illusion about the task at hand, but this is why we came to play the World Cup.”

The Kiwis are in Group B and pitted against Paraguay, Mali, Turkey at D. Y. Patil stadium in the World Cup.

‘Cannot forget’

Brazil chief coach Carlos Amadeu was respectful towards New Zealand ahead of the match.“I cannot forget New Zealand. At the last U-17 World Cup, they have beaten Paraguay which is a powerful team, we faced them in a difficult game and won on penalty kicks.”

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He added: “I look at this World Cup as the World Cup of Equalities. African teams have been strong, Spain and England from Europe, United and Mexico from another zone, are also strong. There are many teams with chances to win.”

Three-time champion Brazil will shift to Kochi for World Cup’s Group D matches against Spain, Niger and DPR Korea.

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