FIFA U17 World Cup final: All the key stats and records ahead of the Spain vs England clash
After a three week period since the tournament's start that saw 50 games take place across six venues throughout India, we are now down to just two teams that will fight it out at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata later today to win the most coveted tournament in football for these young kids, the FIFA U17 World Cup.
England and Spain, the two European representatives in the tournament fought against all odds have earned their deserved place in this year's FIFA U17 World Cup final. Football aficionados will be quick to realize that these two teams have been quite familiar opponents in recent times, particularly on the European stage.
The teams have met on three occasions in the last seven years during the finals of the U-17 European Championship. In 2007, Spain managed to defeat England in a 1-0 win to take the title, while in 2010 the English lifted the title after a 2-1 win over the Spaniards.
But their meeting in the U-17 Euro Final that took place this year is something that would still be fresh in the minds of many. England took the lead twice, once in the first half and once in the second half but Spain equalized on both occasions and finally took the game to penalties and won the tournament after a great show in the shootout. The teams meet yet again, this time on the global stage. Is it redemption time for the England team or will the Spain team cement their place as world champions, take a look at our stats ahead of today's match?
FIFA U17 World Cup History
Both Spain and England despite being the European Giants they are, have never won a FIFA U17 World Cup. Prior to this tournament, the England team's best finish in an U17 World Cup has been the quarterfinals but this year's batch has created history by not only reaching the semi-final but also progressing to the final for the first ever time in the country's history. Here are some interesting points to consider based on the past:
• Spain have lost 3 FIFA U-17 World Cup finals (1991, 2003 and 2007). This might the give the English a slight psychological edge ahead of today's final.
• Spain have finished as tournament top scorers more than anybody, ever since the tournament started (1991, 1997, 2003 and 2007).
• England have reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA U17 World Cup on two occasions in 2007 and 2011 but unfortunately got knocked out by their European opponents Germany on both occasions.
Performance in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup
• England are the tournament's top scorers with 18 goals.
• England have scored the most goals (4 goals) from set pieces in the tournament.
• England have conceded the least amount of goals from the final 8 teams in the tournament (4 goals).
• England have not lost a single game in the tournament.
• Spain have hit the woodwork 4 times in the tournament (2nd highest behind Mali)
Both the England and Spain teams have had a good record at the back with Spain conceding 5 and England conceding 4. England's Curtis Anderson has been the more impressive out of the two keepers with a near 83% save accuracy and 19 saves which is the tournament best when it comes to accuracy, not to mention his important save in the penalty shootout vs Japan.
England's Jadon Sancho lit up the tournament in the group stages with goals and assists but unfortunately had to leave after that as he was recalled by his club Dortmund for club duty but after his departure England's bright trio of Callum Hudson Odoi, George McEachran and Phil Foden have been involved in majority of Englands goals and have been crucial in initiating plays and counter attacks.
Spain's Moha Moukhliss has had a great tournament scoring 1 goal, as well as being the creative hub in the team involved in most of the players going forward.
• India is now within touching distance of breaking the all-time attendance record in a FIFA U17 World Cup which is currently held by China and was set in the 1985 edition of the tournament. India is less than 3000 fans away from matching the tally set by China and with two games left in the over 60,000 capacity stadium in Kolkata, the country looks all set to smash the record.
• The tournament has witnessed 170 goals scored over the last 50 games, something which is currently the 2nd highest number of goals scored in a FIFA U17 World Cup, only 2 behind the current record held by 2013 edition which took place in United Arab Emirates (173). With a 3rd place game between two of the tournament's most eye-catching teams (Mali and Brazil) and a final between England and Spain, it looks like India is all set to break another record.
• England's Rhian Brewster leads the way with 7 goals which include two hattricks in the tournament while Spain's captain Abel Ruiz is just 1 behind with 6 goals in the tournament. Two players gunning for the award with both their teams facing each other in the final, this could be a nailbiting finish. A special shoutout to Mali's Lassana N'Diaye who is also on 6 goals and will play in the early 3rd place game vs Brazil, it remains to see if N'Diaye could pull off a surprise and top the charts come tonight.