FIFA U17 World Cup: Brazil vs Mali - Telecast, live streaming, date, start time and where to watch online
We look into both the teams and what is in store for us in the third-place game between Brazil and Mali on Saturday.
Brazil vs Mali, FIFA U17 World Cup third-place match
Date: 28th October 2017
Time: 5 pm Indian Standard Time
Venue: Vivekananda Yuba Bharti Kirangangan, Kolkata
Live Telecast: Sony Ten 2, Sony ESPN
Live streaming: Sony LIV
India will bear witness to the first FIFA U17 World Cup final in its soil tomorrow, but before the final is played out in front of an expected full house and a galaxy of stars as well as the big shots of FIFA, the country will stage the third-place game.
The final is going to be one big gala event. While all the eyes will be on the final, two teams will be playing for nothing but pride before the final kicks off. The third-place game is almost always one of the most ignored matches of the whole tournament as its a game featuring the two losing teams from the semi-finals.
In this edition of the FIFA U17 World Cup, we will see Brazil take on Mali for the third-place game, in a game that projects itself to be a cracker but nothing but only pride is at stake. Mali are last edition’s runners-up while Brazil are one of the most successful teams in the history of the tournament and were billed as favourites to win the title by many football enthusiasts.
Let's take a deeper look into the tomorrow's third-place game and the prospects that come with it.
Brazil have been one of the most consistent teams in the tournament and lost only to England in the semi-final. They even defeated this edition’s other finalist Spain 2-1 in Kochi during the Group Stages. In the road to the semi-finals, Brazil defeated the likes of Spain, Niger, DRP Korea, Honduras, Germany, before losing to England in the semi-final.
All throughout the tournament Brazil have been praised for their offence but have some problems regarding defence. In terms of attack they have been able to attack and go on the offensive as a unit with smooth transitions from midfield to attack with some slick touch and go moves, they have also used the wings very well apart from the game against England where they were pegged back and looked out of ideas.
The good thing about this Brazil side is that they have been very good in attack from both the flanks and as well as from the middle, they have also been able to break down some of the best teams like Spain and England with some swift moves and if they continue playing like this in the third-place game expect them to cause more than a few problems for the Mali defence.
In terms of defensive structure, Brazil have had a problem or two during the World Cup be it in the game against Spain or Honduras and even in the games against Germany and England the problems in defence and Midfield were highlighted during these game.
To be honest, Brazil’s defence isn't bad, but it's the coordination between midfield and defence which is causing all the problems, as the wingers seldom track back and help the defence, the central midfielders also fail to cover the centre-backs which leaves a lot of free space in the middle and flanks for the opponents to take advantage off. If Brazil want to emerge victorious from this game they will need to improve their Defensive coordination.
Predicted lineup (4-3-3): Brazao, Wesley, Vitao, Lucas, Victor, Weverson, Marcos, Alan, Paulinho, Lincoln, Brenner
Mali started the tournament as the dark horses to win the tournament given they were crowned champions of Africa. Having qualified as the African champions for the World Cup, they also finished as runners-up in 2015 FIFA U17 World Cup in Chile. All these factors led to Mali being tipped as the dark horses to win the title, while some football experts even went ahead and tipped them to be the team that would lift the trophy on 28th in Kolkata, but alas their prediction fell just short.
Mali’s World Cup campaign didn't begin well as they lost 3-2 to Paraguay but then pulled up their socks to defeat the likes of Turkey, New Zealand, Iraq and Ghana before losing to Spain in the semi-final. Mali are a team that love to a play a physical brand of football but can at the same time play some good passing football. They love to adjust their strategy with respect to their opponents. For example, they played passing football in the murky rainy conditions in Guwahati against Ghana as they knew very well Ghana loved to play long balls. Playing a swift passing game in those conditions was not all easy.
Their main strength has been their attack and midfield. Their midfield, in particular, has been one of the few units to completely boss around the field and dominate nearly every game they have been part of. The other good thing is that they have a strike force which can break down any defence and score from nearly any part of the pitch.
Mali's defence is good in covering aerial balls but given their physical stature, they are quite slow in turning and covering swift passing moves as was the case against Spain and Paraguay. Given Brazil play a lot of smooth swift passes, expect the Malian defence to face some trouble.
Predicted lineup (4-1-4-1): Koita, Boubacar, Konate, Diaby, Fofana, Traore, Jiddou, Samake, Doucoure, Ndiaye, Drame
Player’s To Watch Out For
The Vasco Da Gama forward has been Brazil's creative force at this FIFA U17 World Cup and has three goals and two assists to his name. It was his strike that led Brazil to the semi-finals defeating Germany. That 25-yard wonder strike will be remembered by the Kolkata crowd for a long. Expect this skilful forward to create havoc in the Mali defence with swift runs and skills.
Salam Jiddou (Mali)
While Ndiaye and Doucoure have been grabbing all the headlines for Mali, Salam Jiddou has been quietly doing what everyone wants from him. The midfield general works his heart out and is a brilliant box to box midfielder who can also play as a central attacking midfielder or in the hole just behind the striker, his wide range of passing, sense and maturity added with some clean ball winning tackles make Jiddou the heart of the Malian midfield and the team in whole. With four assists and one goal to his name, the teenager from Guidars FC in Mali has been one of the standout performers of the tournament.