Mex­ico are favoured to put it across Iraq

The Sunday Guardian - - Sports -

KOLKATA: Two-time win­ners Mex­ico will be hot favourites when they take on Asian cham­pi­ons Iraq in a Group F FIFA U-17 World Cup en­gage­ment at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Kri­ran­gan here on Sun­day.

Mex­ico lifted the Cup twice (2005, 2011) and reached the semi-fi­nals in the last edi­tion of the tour­na­ment, los­ing to even­tual cham­pi­ons Nige­ria. The 2017 CONCACAF U- 1 7 cham­pi­ons were the last of the four teams in the group to ar­rive in the city and looked sharp in train­ing. Their pedi­gree was vis­i­ble in the con­fi­dence of the play­ers and coach Mario Arteaga.

Mex­ico are one of the four sides in this edi­tion of the tour­ney to have pock­eted the crown pre­vi­ously. The other three are Brazil (2003), Ghana (1995) and France (2001). De­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Nige­ria failed to qual­ify for the fi­nals.

«We are here to cre­ate new his­tory. What has hap­pened in the past is in the past, » Arteaga said in his first in­ter­ac­tion with jour­nal­ists af­ter fly­ing in to the city.

The El Tri, as they are pop­u­larly called, will bank on Jairo Tor­res who has not only made his se­nior de­but for Mex­i­can side Club At­las, but also starred in their CONCACAF U-17 Cham­pi­onship win scor­ing three goals in the process. He was ad­judged the best player of the tour­na­ment.

What makes Tor­res a threat is that he isn't just a goalscorer; he's a team player who can cre­ate and dic­tate the course of play. Com­ing to Iraq, the Asian pow­er­house can spring a sur­prise es­pe­cially with the weather con­di­tions not too alien to them as it is to their North Amer­i­can coun­ter­parts.

Iraq U-17 team have been in form too win­ning the 2016 AFC U- 16 Cham­pi­onship in Goa last year.

At the World Cup stage though, they are thin on ex­pe­ri­ence hav­ing fea­tured in just the 2013 edi­tion where they fin­ished last in Group F. Squads: Mex­ico: VAc­tor DAaz, Ce­sar Lapez De Alba, Ce­sar Rafael Ramos Be­cerra; Alan Lue­vanos, Luis Oli­vas Sal­cedo, Os­car Gat­ica, Car­los Jimenez, AdriAin HernAin­dez, Ser­gio Lozano and RaAl Zavala; Luis Avila, Car­los Zavala, Alexis Tor­res, Diego Leyva, Deivoon Rico, JesAs Al­varez and Marco An­to­nio RuAz Zarco; Jairo Tor­res, Roberto GonzAilez, Ce­sar Valera, Daniel Valdez.

Iraq: Ali Ibadi, Mustafa Zuhair, Ab­du­lazeez Am­mar De­fend­ers: Am­mar Mo­hammed, Maytham Jab­bar, Mun­tad­her Mo­hammed, Mun­tad­her Ab­dul­sada, Ab­du­la­b­bas Ayad, Mo­hammed Al-Baqer, Ali Raad; Habeeb Mo­hammed, Saif Khalid, Mo­hammed Ridha, Ab­bas Ali, Bas­sam Shakir, Mo­hammed Ali (Al Nagda), Moamel Karim, Ahmed Sar­tip; Mo­hammed Da­wood, Ali Ka­reem, Alaa Ad­naan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.