Argentina’s men’s national U-17 football team will make its FIFA U-17 World Cup debut in Indonesia this Saturday against Senegal. The game is set to kick off at 9 a.m. Argentina time at the Jalak Harupat Stadium, and can be watched live through TyC Sports and DSports.
The Albiceleste and Senegal are part of Group D, along with Japan and Poland. These two will start their campaigns earlier in the same stadium, at 6 a.m. Argentina time.
Coach Diego Placente and his players are in for a tough challenge. Their pool matches are set in what has been branded the ‘death group’ due its competitiveness. Senegal and Japan are the African and Asian U-17 champions respectively, while Poland finished third in this year’s U-17 European tournament. Argentina qualified to the World Cup by finishing third in the 2023 South American Championship in Ecuador.
“We’re calm,” said Argentina head coach Placente. “We are managing the boys’ anxiety and motivating them for the game. We trust our players, they are competitive and skilled.”
Groups A kicked off this Friday with a 1-1 tie between host Indonesia and Ecuador, while Spain beat Canada 2-0. Group B also began, with Morocco beating Panama 2-0 and Mali winning 3-0 against Uzbekistan.
Despite being a multiple U-20 World Cup champion and Olympic medal winner (played at the u23 level), Argentina has never been crowned in the U-17 category, the only title it hasn’t won in the men’s game. The Albiceleste never reached a final and only has three bronze medals to its name, in 1991, 1995, and 2003.
The competition format has the teams divided into six groups of four. The first and second of each group, plus the four best third-place finishers qualify for the round of 16. From the round of 16 onwards, its played as direct elimination. Spain, Brazil, France, and Senegal are among the favorites to win it.