Top four S. American teams have qualified for U-17 World Cup: Chile coach Caputto

Kolkata, July 9 (IANS) Not directly answering why Argentina missed the bus for the Under-17 World Cup this time, Chile’s Argentine U-17 team head coach Hernan Caputto on Sunday said the best four teams from South America have qualified for the youth showpiece.

“We are going to give our cent per cent to win the matches. Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay… these best four teams have qualified from the continent. I can answer more questions about Chile and not Argentina,” Caputto told reporters after inspecting the Salt Lake Stadium here which will host Group F matches. England, Mexico and Iraq are the other members of the group.

Argentina needed to finish among the top four teams in the final stage of the 2017 South American U-17 Championships to qualify for the 2017 edition.

But Lionel Messi’s younger compatriots failed to even qualify for the final stage and were knocked out of the reckoning for a place in Friday’s draw at the first stage of qualification.

Argentina, for the record, have taken part in 13 U-17 World Cups so far. Only Brazil and the US have appeared in more.

Caputto said he is happy to play their group matches in Kolkata which has a rich history.

“We are happy to be in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and play here in the World Cup. This city has a lot of history. The stadium is beautiful and the weather is no problem… in Chile, it is the same,” he said.

Caputto, 42, who played as a goalkeeper, signed off by saying there were no easy sides in a World Cup.

As far as the senior team is concerned, Chile who reached the final of the Confederations Cup losing to Germany, beat Argentina twice in successive years to win Copa America.

The Salt Lake Stadium will stage five group F matches beginning with Chile versus England and Iraq versus Mexico on October 8.

The stadium will host a group E fixture between Japan and New Caledonia, one pre-quarterfinal, the third place playoff and the summit clash on October 28.

–IANS

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