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Amajimbos' World Cup Adventure – The Group

South Africa’s U17s will begin their first ever U17 World Cup this month, and while Molefi Ntseki says they’ve been doing their research, what do the public know?

Read: SA U17s To Face New Zealand

Ntseki’s men came close to conquering their continent in the CAF U17 Championships earlier this year, however lost to Mali 2-0 in the final after making sure that they would be going to Chile.

Now, as the team prepare for their final warm-up friendly against New Zealand, the Siya crew have formulated a breakdown on how each of their Group E opponents qualified.

Costa Rica:
The Costa Rican U17s qualified for the finals in Chile having finished in the play-off places at the 2015 U17 CONCACAF Championships, ending as the second-highest scorers there.

Their qualifying looked as follows:
Group Stage -
Saint Lucia 0-4 Costa Rica
Costa Rica 2-3 Canada
Costa Rica 4-1 Haiti
Costa Rica 2-0 Panama
Mexico 1-1 Costa Rica

Playoff -
Costa Rica 3-0 Canada

Costa Rica have only won their continental U17 title once, with that win coming back in 1994.

Korea DPR:
The boys from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea made it to this year’s World Cup after winning the title in last year’s AFC U16 Championships in Thailand, claiming five victories from six games, scoring 12 goals.

Their qualifying looked as follows:
Group Stage -
Kuwait 0-3 Korea DPR
Korea DPR 2-3 Uzbekistan
Korea DPR 4-0 Nepal

Knockouts:
Iran 0-0 Korea DPR (Korea DPR won 4-2 on penalties)
Australia 1-1 Korea DPR (Korea DPR won 4-1 on penalties)
South Korea 1-2 Korea DPR

Korea DPR’s title in Thailand was their second U16 Championships victory.

Russia:
The Russians qualified for the U17 World Cup after reaching the semi-finals of the 2015 UEFA U17 Championships, however lost to Germany 1-0 once reaching the last four. It was an indifferent campaign, winning two, losing two and drawing one.

Their qualifying looked as follows:
Group Stage -
Greece 2-2 Russia
Russia 0-1 France
Russia 2-0 Scotland

Knockouts:
England 0-1 Russia
Germany 1-0 Russia

The Russian side have won the UEFA U17 Championships twice (2006 and 2013), and are playing in their first U17 World Cup.

The World Cup itself begins on October 17, however, Group E only gets underway on the 19th when South Africa play Costa Rica and Korea DPR face Russia.

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