Let the Games Begin at Poland 2019

The U-20 national team of Portugal during their visit to the Bielsko-Biala Stadium Poland…yesterday Photo: FIFA

Roughly two years after the trophy was lifted by England, who are not competing this time around, the search begins today for the new U-20 world champions in Poland.

The hosts, staging their first FIFA tournament, will take on Colombia in their opening match this evening. In the group’s other game, Tahiti will be hoping to score their first goal at their second U-20 World Cup when they meet Senegal, having conceded 21 while scoring none on their debut.

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles, who spent three weeks at a final training camp in Germany, will open their account, against Qatar, on Friday.

In Group B, 2018 UEFA European U-19 Championship runners-up Italy face Mexico, who are taking part in this competition for the 16th time. Only Brazil, who are also reduced to being spectators this year, have graced more U-20 World Cups (18).

Fans are also eagerly awaiting the appearance of Ecuador, who have travelled to Europe with high hopes after being crowned continental champions in South America for the first time. Their opponents Japan have plenty of experience, having progressed past the group stage seven times in their last nine appearances in the competition and reached the last eight on three occasions.

Coach of Senegal, Youssouph Dabo, also gave an insight of what to expect against Tahiti.

“We are focusing closely on Tahiti, a team we know absolutely nothing about. This kind of opponent is always capable of springing a surprise.”

Ecuador coach Jorge Celico, said of his expectations of tonight’s game.

“Opponents will have to adapt to us. That doesn’t mean that we can’t make any adjustments, but we won’t change the way we play. We want to take the World Cup trophy home with us. Everything is difficult in this job, and as long as we have a chance, it would be wrong not to dream right until the end.”
Ecuador coach Jorge Celico, said of his expectations of tonight’s game.

Group A

Group B