New Delhi: Spain will take on Mali in the second semi-final of the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup. The game will be played in Navi Mumbai and will begin at 8 pm IST. With Brazil and England drawn in the other semi-final, the second of these knockout games is expected to go under the radar. Spain have a greater pedigree and may be looked as the favourites in this big game.
Both the teams have progressed to the last eight after losing their opening games, Spain to another top title favourite and South American champions Brazil and Mali to another Latin American outfit, Paraguay, respectively.
While Spain have played mostly in the southern coastal city of Kochi, Mali have a slight advantage of having played at the D Y Patil Stadium in two Group B games before travelling out and returning to the same venue in under a fortnight’s time.
How much of an advantage the familiarity of the playing surface will be for Mali will be known on Wednesday with one small difference from their stay and play earlier on – the rains have gone away.
In both of Mali’s previous games here, rains had made the ground wet and even in the quarter finals against fellow-Africans Ghana they had to brave a soggy field in Guwahati to sail through. (With PTI inputs)