Joeys to take on Ecuador, Hungary, and Nigeria at FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019

Australia’s under 17 men’s national football team (Joeys) will take on Ecuador, Hungary, and Nigeria at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil later this year after the official draw for the competition was held at FIFA Headquarters in Zurich on Thursday afternoon (local time). 

Trevor Morgan’s youngsters, who are currently assembled in Canberra at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) for a training camp, watched the draw together late on Thursday evening (AEST) as they were pooled in Group B. 

Australia qualified for the 24-nation tournament last September when they reached the semi-finals of the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship held in Malaysia. 

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The Joeys will be one of Asia’s four representatives at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019, with Japan, Korea Republic, and Tajikistan also participating in the prestigious youth football tournament.

“It was a nice experience for our squad to watch the draw together,” Morgan said on Thursday. “[Former Nigeria international] Celestine Babayaro, who helped conduct the draw, had some very nice words to say about what the tournament can mean for your life prior to the draw, and it was great for our players to hear that from him, a champion.

Trevor Morgan
Joeys boss Trevor Morgan says the draw for the World Cup has thrown up some 'interesting opposition' for his side

“The draw has given us three very interesting opponents. One (Ecuador) is a South American opponent for our first match, and they obviously have real quality as they beat Argentina 4-1 in April.

“For Hungary it is their second appearance at a FIFA U-17 World Cup and we will have a good look at them, while Nigeria has won the tournament five times. We saw a little bit of them in Turkey earlier this year when we played in Antalya. Though we didn’t play against them, we saw a little bit of their matches and they came across as a team with great depth and confidence.

“Tonight’s draw gives us some targets and some things to aim for, but the focus has to be on ourselves and giving our players the chance to push for a spot in the squad for Brazil and then playing the best football we can with the weapons that we have,” he said. 

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The FIFA U-17 World Cup will take place from 26 October to 17 November 2019.

Australia’s first match of the tournament will take place on Saturday, 26 October against Ecuador at the Estadio Olimpico in Goiania. Morgan’s men will take on Hungary in the same city and stadium three days later, before shifting base to Brasilia (Gama) for the third and final group game against Nigeria at the Estadio Bezerrao on Friday, 1 November 2019. 

The top two teams from each group, plus the four best third-placed teams will advance to the Round of 16. 

FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 – Groups

Group A

Group B

Group C

Group D

Group E

Group F

Brazil

Nigeria

Korea Republic

USA

Spain

Solomon Islands

Canada

Hungary

Haiti

Senegal

Argentina

Italy

New Zealand

Ecuador

France

Japan

Tajikistan

Paraguay

Angola

Australia

Chile

Netherlands

Cameroon

Mexico

FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019 – Joeys Match Schedule 

Ecuador v Australia
Date: Saturday, 26 October 2019
Venue: Estadio Olimpico, Goiania 
Kick-off: TBC 
Broadcast: Live in Australia via SBS and theworldgame.sbs.com.au

Australia v Hungary
Date: Tuesday, 29 October 2019
Venue: Estadio Olimpico, Goiania
Kick-off: TBC
Broadcast: Live in Australia via SBS and theworldgame.sbs.com.au

Australia v Nigeria 
Date: Friday, 1 November 2019
Venue: Estadio Bezerrao, Brasilia (Gama)
Kick-off: TBC
Broadcast: Live in Australia via SBS and theworldgame.sbs.com.au