Everything you ever wanted to know about Canada but were afraid to ask

UNDER 20 WORLD CUP
CANADA
June 30 - July 22 2007



The 24 teams involved in the World Cup have been divided into six groups of four. The games will be played as double headers with venues in Burnaby, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria. The top two in each group and the four best teams making it to third place will progress to the second round which takes place over 11-12 July. The quarterfinals are to be played on 14-15 July with the semi-finals on 18-19 July. The National Soccer Stadium in Toronto will play host to the final and the third-place playoff games which will take place on July 22.


National Soccer Stadium


Draw:

Group AAustria, Canada, Chile, Congo
Group BJordan, Spain, Uruguay, Zambia
Group CGambia, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal
Group DBrazil, Korea Republic, Poland, United States
Group EArgentina, Czech Republic, DPR Korea, Panama
Group FCosta Rica, Japan, Nigeria, Scotland,


The majority of games in Group F will be played at Royal Athletic Park Stadium in Victoria where Scotland picked up valuable experience when they won 2-1 over Canada on 27 March. The only game to be played elsewhere is Scotland's last group game, against Costa Rica, which will be played at the Swangard Stadium. This is the ground that Scotland were scheduled to play Canada in March but the pitch was waterlogged and the game was switched at the last minute to the all weather pitch at Coquitlam.

Royal Athletic Park is a multi-purpose stadium and is used mainly for football of both the real and the American version. The usual capacity is just under 10,000 which will be expanded with temporary seats added to boost the capacity to 14,500 for the tournament.

Swangard Stadium is an intimate ground with a capacity of 10,000 and is home to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Surrounded by towering fir trees and with a glorious view of the mountains to the north, the Swangard ground is a perfect illustration of British Columbia's devotion to the world game and also its breath-taking natural beauty.

JAPAN v SCOTLANDVictoria, Canada01 Jul 2007
SCOTLAND v NIGERIAVictoria, Canada04 Jul 2007
SCOTLAND v COSTA RICAVancouver, Canada07 Jul 2007


JAPAN

The Japanese are making their eighth consecutive appearance in the Under 20s World Cup championship. They were runners-up in the 1999 finals which were held in Nigeria. On hearing the draw, Japan Under-20 coach Yasushi Yoshida said: "We've been drawn into a tough group, but I know that there are no easy opponents in a world championship. We won't have much time to prepare for the tournament, but we'll do what we can. We'd like to focus on gaining a win first and then getting through the group stage."

NIGERIA

Despite a somewhat lacklustre campaign at the recent CAF African Youth Championship in Congo, Nigeria's Flying Eagles did just enough to earn a coveted place in the Under 20s World Cup. A new wave of Nigerian youngsters may have reached the Final sat the 15th edition of the continental youth competition, losing 1-0, but they manifestly lack the sparkle of previous generations. Godwin Koko Uwua, coach of the Nigeria U-20 side said: "I'm Uwua and Siasia is Siasia, and the challenges I face may not be the same as his. Now's the time to be talking about the 2007 Flying Eagles, not the 2005 team."

COSTA RICA

Costa Rica return to the Under 20s World Cup after missing out on the previous two tournaments. This will be the sixth time the Ticos have reached the finals and judging by the strength of their squad, the central American giants have every reason to be optimistic about their chances. Costa Rica coach Geovanny Alfaro said: "To reach the World Cup is a huge step forward. We haven't won anything yet though, and we've got a long way to go because we want to make history by putting in a good performance in Canada."

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