Canada faces tough Argentina at FIFA U-17 World Cup
Teams meet in final preliminary-round game
Unbeaten in its two previous matches, Canada takes on powerful Argentina on Friday in the final preliminary-round game for both teams at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The South Americans top Group E with a 1-0-1 record with Canada (0-0-2) in second ahead of Iran (0-0-2) on goal difference. Austria (0-1-1) is third.
"They are a good team," Canadian coach Sean Fleming said of the South Americans. "We are going to have to be at our best, that's for sure."
Fleming has told his players to embrace the moment against Argentina.
"They're a great footballing nation," he said. "And we have a chance to go and show them our football."
The top two in each of the six groups advance, along with the four best third-place teams, to the knockout round of 16.
The Group E winner will play Tunisia while the runner-up faces the winner of group F, either Nigeria, Sweden or Mexico.
A win and Canada will go through. The Canadians can also move on with a tie, depending on other results.
Argentina can advance despite a loss. But a tie would secure its progress.
The young Canadians have never made it out of the first round at the world championship at this level and its two draws at the 2011 event in Mexico represented their first ever points at the competition.
"I really believe in these kids," said Fleming. "They're going to come up with a great performance and we'll just see what happens."
Canada is captained by goalkeeper Marco Carducci, a Vancouver Whitecaps product. Jordan Hamilton, a product of the Toronto FC academy, leads the attack.