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FIFA U-17 World Cup: The tournament opens with India vs USA match
The wait is finally over as India is all set to host the much-awaited and the biggest-ever international football tournament – FIFA Under-17 World Cup on its soil, scheduled to kick off from today.

The tournament will consist of 52 matches which will be played across six cities around the country namely, Kolkata, Kochi, New Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati and Margao (Goa). In India, the tournament will take place between October 6 and October 28, 2017.

As host nation, India will be making their first-ever participation in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. On Friday, the tournament will start with four matches.

In its first match, two teams from Group-A, India and the United States will clash against each other at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. For offensive, India will majorly rely on striker Aniket Jadhav and winger Komal Thatal while the midfield will be protected by captain Amarjit Singh Kiyam and Suresh Singh Wangjam. As midfielders, both players are capable enough to take on the opposition and are expected to play a key role on the field.

Calling the fans to unite and cheer for the team, captain Amarjit said, "60000 fans will come, Indians will watch the game across the country. Supporters are also needed and are important. We will give our best. The result, we will see later."

The under-17 Indian football team consists of 10 members from Northeastern region of India, which has had a long history of producing quality football players for the Indian team.

As far as USA's performance is concerned, the team looks quite confident against India and is considered a pretty good side on paper, in other words a much stronger squad in India's comparison.

In fact, football experts feel that India would be lucky if they win even one match in the tournament. According to them, India has a slim chance of winning the opening match of the tournament.

Speaking to reporters at the match-eve press conference on Thursday, Luis Norton de Matos, a former Portuguese footballer, who is the current Indian national under-17 football team coach, said, "USA and for that matter Ghana and Colombia in our group are big sides, top level teams. We know we have a small percentage of winning against the US but you never know what will happen in a game of football."

"We will prepare well for this small percentage and try to make these small possibilities count. We want to fight as a team and with help from the 12th man (the home supporters) we hope we can compete against them," he further added.

"All the games are different, we hope that tomorrow we can play with 12 players. 11 us and 12th, the fans," he was quoted to be saying by PTI.

No matter what the results turn out to be, the most important thing is that the tournament is expected to usher in a football craze which shall help to groom stars of tomorrow.

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