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The FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil enters the knockout stage this Tuesday as Angola takes on Korea Republic while Nigeria will face Netherlands in the Round of 16.

So far, 36 of the projected 52 matches have been played. The road to the final matches continues.

In the meantime, rounds up the most fascinating stats from the first round, which was played out in Brasilia, Vitoria and Goiania.


Battle for Golden Boot

4 The number of goals Australia’s Noah Botic has scored to date, giving him the lead in the race for the adidas Golden Boot at Brazil 2019. Just behind him on three are Senegal’s Pape Sarr, Mexico’s Efrain Alvarez, Italy’s Degnand Gnonto and Nigeria’s Ibrahim Said.


Average Goals per Game

3.42 The average number of goals per game in the group phase: 123 in 36 matches, putting Brazil 2019 in the all-time U-17 World Cup top five for the time being. Egypt 1997 and Finland 2003 lead the way with 3.66 goals per match each.

The Best Defence

0 The number of goals conceded to date by Japan, the only team to keep clean sheets in all of their group games. Their solid rearguard and the performances of goalkeeper Zion Suzuki are the reasons for that perfect record. The Japanese have now gone 367 minutes without conceding in the competition, a sequence that stretches back to India 2017.

The Highest Number of Assists


3The number of assists served up by Paraguay midfielder Rodrigo Lopez, more than any other player at the tournament so far.

The Youngest Scorer

15 years, 11 months and 23 days. That was how old Italy’s Degnand Gnonto was when he scored against Solomon Islands on the opening day in Group F. With that goal, the Inter Milan forward became the youngest player to find the back of the net in the group phase at Brazil 2019

 The Fastest Scorer

52 – The number of seconds on the clock when Paik Sanghoon gave Korea Republic the lead against Chile in the final round of games in Group C. The goal was the fifth fastest in the history of the competition, some way slower than the nine seconds it took Brazil’s Fabinho to score against New Zealand at Korea 2007. 


Over A Dozen of Penalties

14 – The number of penalties awarded in the 36 group matches. Twelve of them resulted in goals while the remaining two were saved in some style: Italy goalkeeper Marco Molla denied Mexico’s Israel Luna and USA’s Chituru Odunze did likewise to the Netherlands’ Kenneth Taylor. Both keepers dived to the left to pull off their superb stops.

A Feast of Goals

8 –Mexico’s 8-0 defeat of Solomon Islands, which secured their place in the last 16, is the third-largest win in the tournament’s history. Nigeria beat Canada by the same scoreline at Japan 1993, while Spain hold the outright record courtesy of a 13-0 win over New Zealand at Egypt 1997. 

Cautions and Expulsions


115 – The number of yellow cards shown by referees—an average of 3.19 per match. Eight red cards have also been issued. 

Milestone Match

700 – Paraguay’s victory over Italy on the final matchday in Group F was the 700th match in the history of the tournament, which began as a U-16 competition in 1985. 

Netherlands’  Return

14 – The number of years that the Netherlands have taken to return to the last 16. The last time they did so was at Peru 2005, when they went on to finish third. In between times they were knocked out in the group phases at Nigeria 2009 and Mexico 2011. 


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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