Monday 19 February 2018

King backs U-17s to shock Samba girls

Stephen Finn

NOEL KING acknowledges that the heat and humidity of Trinidad & Tobago will suit Brazil today, but is convinced his Republic of Ireland U-17 girls can cause a World Cup shock.

Brazil come into the Women's U-17 World Cup finals with a 100pc success rate in qualifying -- including a 7-0 victory over Chile in the South American Championships final.

With temperatures well over 32c during the day in Port of Spain, the Irish will have their fitness and stamina tested to the full by the Brazilians in their group opener.

The game kicks-off at 4.0 local time (9.0 Irish time) and manager King feels that his side has done as much as they could to adjust.

"We spent 10 days in Florida preparing for the conditions and the medical staff have been working closely with the girls to monitor their well-being. I feel the girls have adapted well," he said.

The Irish lost 3-0 to Trinidad & Tobago, but then beat New Zealand in two friendly matches in Fort Lauderdale last week.

"I know most people will consider Brazil favourites and the climate will suit them, but I wouldn't rule out an Irish victory," said King. "Our squad has great belief and they go into this tournament with no pressure on them. What will be, will be."

The Irish girls, who made history in clinching a silver medal at the UEFA U-17 Championship finals this summer, will need to cope with the scoring threat of Paula, Glaucia and Thais, who shared 19 goals between them in the qualifiers, but the Irish certainly seem ready to cause an upset on their World Cup debut.

Irish Independent

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