New Zealand have been drawn to face Paraguay, Mali and Turkey in Group B of the FIFA Under 17 World Cup set for October this year. New Zealand are the OFC Champs.
They had humbled their rivals New Caledonia 7-0 in Tahiti to get the nod.
The venues of the tournamentare spread across India, the host. The event is set to take place from October 6th to 28th. Twenty four teams would partake in the event.
Group A has hosts India, USA, Columbia and Ghana. Group B comprises of Paraguay, Mali, New Zealand and Turkey. Group C holds Iran, Guinea, Germany and Costa Rica. Group D has Korea DRP, Niger, Brazil, and Spain. Group E has Honduras, Japan, New Caledonia, and France. Group F consists of Iraq, Mexico, Chile and England.
Danny Hay led the side to victory at the OFC event. The team faced Brazil and Paraguay two years back in Chile. The team put in a decent show but were sent out nonetheless. The team would also be confident after Darren Bazeley-led side finished in the Round of 16 stage for the first time at the Under-20 World Cup event recently.
The current crop of players is determined. They are a high scoring side, defeating Samao 11-0, Solomon Islands 2-1 and Fiji 5-0. They defeated Papua New Guinea 2-1before seeing off New Caledonia in the final. The challenge in India is on a different level as they would be competing with some of the best age grade teams in the world.
NZ face Turkey first on Friday October 6 and then the South Americans three days later. The final group game would be Mali on Thrusday, October 12.