A total of 36 group stage matches unfolded across four cities in Indonesia, determining the 16 teams advancing to the knockout stage. Despite hosting, Indonesia fell short of progressing to the Round of 16, securing the third position in Group A with a modest two points, placing them third in the ranking of third-best group finishers.
Five Nations with Zero Points in the U-17 World Cup:
- In the Group B showdown of the U-17 World Cup 2023, Canada faced stiff competition from Mali, Spain, and Uzbekistan, ending up on the losing side in all encounters.
- Canada suffered a 0-2 defeat against Spain on matchday I, followed by consecutive setbacks against Uzbekistan (0-3) and Mali (1-5). They conceded 10 goals across three matches, managing to score only once.
- New Caledonia
- Positioned as the goal-bearers in Group C, New Caledonia clashed with England, Brazil, and Iran.
- In their opening match, New Caledonia succumbed to a 0-10 defeat against England, followed by consecutive losses against Brazil (0-9) and Iran (0-5). They conceded a whopping 24 goals, failing to find the net themselves.
- Poland found themselves at the bottom of Group D after suffering three consecutive defeats against Japan (0-1), Argentina (0-4), and Senegal (1-4).
- Poland emerged as the sole European representative failing to advance to the Round of 16 in the U-17 World Cup 2023.
- South Korea
- Competing against France, the United States, and Burkina Faso, South Korea faced defeats in all three group stage matches.
- South Korea lost to the U.S. (1-3), followed by defeats against France (0-1) and Burkina Faso (1-2). With South Korea and Indonesia’s elimination, the AFC secured three representatives in the U-17 World Cup 2023 Round of 16, with Uzbekistan, Japan, and Iran progressing.
- New Zealand
- New Zealand finished at the bottom of Group F, suffering losses against Germany, Venezuela, and Mexico.
- New Zealand managed to score only one goal throughout the U-17 World Cup, conceding 10 goals in three matches. Their most significant defeat came at the hands of Mexico, with a final score of 0-4.
The zero-point finishers in the U-17 World Cup 2023 not only faced group-stage exits but also encountered a series of challenges that cast a spotlight on various aspects of their performance.
Canada’s Struggles: Canada, in Group B, struggled to secure a foothold, succumbing to formidable opponents. The 0-2 loss to Spain exposed defensive vulnerabilities, compounded by subsequent defeats against Uzbekistan (0-3) and Mali (1-5). Canada’s campaign highlighted the need for defensive fortification and strategic adjustments.
New Caledonia’s Defensive Woes: New Caledonia faced a barrage of goals in Group C, conceding a staggering 24 times without finding the net. The 0-10 drubbing by England set the tone for their campaign, emphasizing the importance of defensive solidity and tactical resilience at the international level.
Poland’s European Setback: Poland’s exit from the U-17 World Cup marked a setback for European representation. Group D proved challenging, with defeats against Japan (0-1), Argentina (0-4), and Senegal (1-4). This outcome prompts reflections on European youth football development and the need for strategic improvements.
South Korea’s Tough Campaign: South Korea faced a formidable Group E, encountering challenges against the United States, France, and Burkina Faso. The 1-3 loss to the U.S., coupled with subsequent defeats, underlines the competitive nature of the tournament. South Korea’s exit raises questions about Asian teams’ preparedness for the intense global competition at the U-17 level.
New Zealand’s Offensive Struggles: New Zealand’s meager goal tally and defensive frailty in Group F spotlighted challenges in offensive execution and defensive resilience. The 0-4 defeat against Mexico exposed vulnerabilities, urging a reevaluation of their tactical approach and strategic planning.
As the U-17 World Cup 2023 progresses to the knockout stage, these teams’ experiences serve as valuable lessons for football development, emphasizing the importance of robust youth programs, strategic planning, and resilience in the face of international competition. The tournament unfolds, providing a stage for reflection and growth for participating nations.