Uruguay vs Rwanda SS3 (10pm)
England vs Canada SS3 (1am)
USA vs Uzbekistan SS7 (10pm)
Czech Republic vs New Zealand SS7 (1am)
THERE is little margin for error when the junior wasps face Group C leaders Uruguay at Estadio Hidalgo later tonight.
The youngsters got their Fifa U-17 World Cup off to a poor start after losing to England 0-2 and are keen to bounce back.
Although the English created far more chances than the African debutants, the Rwandans had a handful of chances of their own and their direct, physical style might well cause problems for Fabian Coito’s Uruguayans.
“This is our first World Cup at any level, so this makes it hard on the boys,” was the assessment of Tardy. And with the pressure of opening day off their backs, it could just be time for his boys to show the kind of form that got them in the competition.
One major boost for Tardy is the return of Faustin Usengimana who missed the England because of a knee injury. The central defender, who can also score goals from set pieces, will partner Emery Bayisenge in central defense.
Tardy highlighted the importance of today’s game claiming that anything short of a win would throttle Rwanda’s chances of reaching the next round.
“We want to play our normal game and try and win.”
Uruguay opened their account with an impressive 3-0 win over Canada at the Estadio Hidalgo.
The South Americans, who boast one of the meanest defenses at these finals, will try to keep up the form tonight.
Uruguay’s lopsided result against Canada looks far simpler on paper than the reality of it. A heady mixture of organised defending and quick counter-attacking was required of the South Americans.
Now sitting atop Group C, the Celeste are determined to keep up the form that led defender Gaston Silva to claim: “We are a strong unit and if we keep our organisation and belief, anything is possible.”
Also, in striker Juan Cruz Mascia – who led the scoring charts in CONMEBOL qualifying – they have one of the top strikers at these finals, his goal against the Canadians sounding a warning to Group C opponents.
The top two and four best third place finishers will progress into the round of 16. Group C’s other game pits Canada against England.
In Group D, USA plays Uzbekistan while Czech Republic battle New Zealand.