Fifa debutants Niger reach U-17 World Cup knock-out phase
Niger reached the knock-out stage of the Under-17 World Cup in India on a day when Guinea crashed out of the competition.
Niger’s route to the Round of 16 marks history for a team making its debut in a Fifa competition in any age group.
Despite losing 2-0 to Brazil in their final Group D game, the Nigeriens progress as one of the best third-placed teams.
Guinea, meanwhile, were beaten 3-1 by Germany in Group C, in Kochi.
Three of Africa’s four teams at the finals are now through to the knock-out phase after Mali and Ghana both progressed on Thursday.
Niger 0-2 Brazil
Coach Tiemogo Soumaila’s side were undone by first-half goals from Lincoln and Brenner, which gave Brazil a platform they never gave up.
Brazil finish top of the group with nine points while Spain, who beat South Korea 2-0 in Kochi, took second spot with six points.
The Junior Menas make it through to the Round of 16 courtesy of their opening 1-0 win against South Korea, which guaranteed their historic presence in the next round.
The South Koreans finish bottom of the group.
Guinea 1-3 Germany
Guinea will count themselves unfortunate to be going home at the earliest stage after impressing against Germany only to come away empty-handed.
In an open game, Germany led after eight minutes through Jann-Fiete Arp only for Ibrahima Soumah to level matters just before the half-hour mark with his second of the tournament.
Nicolas Kuehn gave the European side the lead once more after finishing off a counter-attack after 62 minutes and it was only in stoppage time that the Germans clinched victory with a penalty.
Guinea will rue missing several presentable opportunities to equalise prior to Sahverdi Cetin’s crushing final blow.