SPORTING ALERT – The FIFA U17 World Cup is down to the last four teams and they will all be in action when semi-final schedule gets underway on Thursday (5).
Mali v Belgium – LIVE Stream FoxSoccer2GO
Mexico v Nigeria – LIVE Stream FoxSoccer2GO
The hunt for places in the final begins at 3:00 p.m. at Estadio La Portada in La Serena, where Mali will take on Belgium.
Two-time FIFA U17 World Cup champion Mexico and Nigeria will meet in the next semi-final battle at 6:00 p.m.
Belgium setup a date with Mali with a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica in its quarterfinals, while the Malians also secured passage into the last four with a 1-0 win against Croatia.
This semis will be a rematch of their Group D opener on October 18, which ended goalless in Talca.
Mali dominated the game at the time, but failed to secure the victory because of poor finishing in front of the goal.
Since then, though, Baye Ba’s side has scored nine goals and has looked a much better team as the tournament progressed.
“I’ll be honest, our appetite has only grown as the tournament has progressed,” Mali coach Ba said. “And so our target is now to lift the trophy.
“Winning is the best way to learn, and it will also encourage the fans and football authorities back in Mali to stick with this policy of blooding young players, so that we can perhaps one day win the senior World Cup.”
Belgium’s path to the FIFA U17 World Cup semi-finals included them beating Korea Republic 2-0 and Costa Rica.
They have also looked a completely different side from the first game, and the expectations are higher for them heading into this contest.
Meanwhile, Mexico dismissed Ecuador 2-0 in their semi-finals despite having lesser attempts on goal and a slightly smaller possession of the ball.
Nigeria, in the meantime, blanked Brazil 3-0 in their quarterfinal match and many think the Africans will be the team that will go all the way in this tournament.
2015 FIFA U17 World Cup
Semi-finals, 5 November
Mali v Belgium (3pm EST; local time, 17.00)
Mexico v Nigeria (6pm EST; local time, 20.00)