5 reasons why India can progress beyond the group stage of FIFA U17 World Cup 2017
Can India make it to the knockout stage?
Come Friday, India will be up against the United States of America in the opening match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in what will be the first time the second-most populous country in the world will be represented at any major FIFA tournament.
History will be scripted when the young Indian team takes on the Americans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. While it will be a proud moment for every Indian and they will hope for the best, participation is one thing and performance is another.
Can the youngsters progress to the knockout stage of the tournament? What are the chances? Here, we give five reasons on why it is very much a possibility.
#5 A team can progress even if they come 3rd in their group
A total of 24 teams have been divided into four groups each. India certainly do not have a ‘group of death’, as they would call, but in Ghana and the United States, they have two very strong opponents. Columbia, also, are a very competitive side and it will be difficult for India to qualify for the knockout stage.
Their best bet may be to progress as the third team of Group A, provided they have a little luck riding on their side.
For those who are unaware, from each group, two of the best teams (in terms of points, goal difference, goals scored… you know the drill) will progress to the next round. Additionally, four of the best third-ranked teams from the six groups will also qualify.
Who knows, if India can register at least one win from their group stage matches, they might just progress to the Round of 16.