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FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Colombia announce final 21-man squad for mega event

Sumedh Pande
260   //    21 Sep 2017, 15:07 IST

Colombia v United States - 2016 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Playoff
Colombia are in Group A for the U-17 World Cup

What's the story? 

Ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the Colombian U-17 side have announced their 21-member to compete at the highest level. The South American nation is also the first from abroad to touch down in the country with Los Cafeteros arriving in New Delhi yesterday. Colombia will train at the Conscient Football School in Gurugram, the venue which is also the training base for the Indian U-17 team. 

On Colombia's group, coach Orlando Restrepo said, "Ghana are a strong, physical team and have had good performances at the World Championship before. India is tidy but they do not have great technique while the USA are the strongest of all in our group."

In case you didn't know...

Colombia booked their ticket to India after finishing third in the South American Under-17 Football Championship, organized earlier this year. This was the 17th edition of the South American competition with Colombia defeating the likes of Ecuador, Uruguay and most importantly, Paraguay in the third-place playoff. 

The heart of the matter 

Coach Restrepo has made a number of changes to his squad which came third in the South American championship. Kevin Moreno, Heyler Gomez and Juan David Martinez are some of the key absentees from the announced squad. 

Goalkeepers: Nicolás Gómez (Deportivo Cali), Kevin Leonardo Mier (Atlético Nacional), Daniel Melo (Liga del Atlántico).

Defenders: Andrés Felipe Balanta (Deportivo Cali), Robert Andrés Mejía (Universitario de Popayán), Christian Andrade (Millonarios), Thomas Gutiérrez (Liga de Antioquia), Juan Sebastián Peñaloza (Liga de Antioquia).

Midfielders: Gustavo Adolfo Carvajal (América), Luis Miguel López (Santa Fe), Yair Meneses (Envigado), Andrés Felipe Perea (Atlético Nacional), Brayan Arley Gómez (Atlético Nacional), Guillermo Tegue (Liga de Antioquia), Etilso Martínez (Liga de Antioquia), Fabián Steven Ángel (Barranquilla FC).

Strikers: Déiber Caicedo (Deportivo Cali), Deyman Andrés Cortés (Atlético Huila), Jaminton Campáz (Deportes Tolima), David Barrero (Liga de Antioquia), Juan David Vidal (Barranquilla FC).

What's next? 

Colombia are in group A with the likes of India, Ghana and the USA. They play their first game against Ghana on October 6 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi and will be looking to improve their highest finishing of third place in the U-17 World Cup which they achieved in Nigeria 2009. 

Author's take 

Though Colombia are not the favourites to proceed from Group A, the team have participated in various friendlies and have players playing in the country's first division. The team have a style where they keep the ball and find gaps in defences which may help them dominate against India and Ghana.

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Sumedh Pande
An avid Premier League watcher with specialization in transfer news and post match analysis. Follow European and Indian football with minute attention with one eye on the world of cricket.
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