TEAM 2001 captain Julius James put his hand in pot D and pulled out Brazil.



The audience witnessing the draw for the September 13-30 Fifa World Under-17 Championships at the Tobago Hilton last night sighed audibly and then there was laughter.

Brazil had been drawn in the same group as hosts Trinidad and Tobago—Group One—in the 16-team competition.

The Soca versus Samba clash will take place at the Hasely Crawford National Stadium during the preliminary rounds of the two-week tournament.

But Brazil is just one of coach Adegboye Onigbinde’s main concerns.

At the opening ceremony at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on September 13, T&T’s first opponents will be Croatia, who beat England 4-1 to be the third European team to qualify for the tournament. And rounding out Group One are Oceania champions Australia.

In Group Two, already labelled the “group of death”, African champions Nigeria will be up against Japan, France and USA, winners of Group A in Concacaf qualifying.

Group Three features European champions Spain, and Oman, Argentina and Burkino Faso.

And finally Concacaf Group B champions Costa Rica will do battle with Iran, Paraguay and Mali in Group Four.

Group One matches are scheduled for the Hasely Crawford Stadium, while Group Two will be based at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago.

Group Three has two locations to choose from—the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium at Marabella and the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

The Larry Gomes Stadium at Malabar will host the teams from Group Four.

The groupings as they were drawn last night are:

Group 1
1 Trinidad and Tobago; 2 Croatia; 3 Australia; 4 Brazil.

Group 2
1 USA; 2 Japan; 3 France; 4 Nigeria.

Group 3
1 Oman; 2 Spain; 3 Argentina; 4 Burkino Faso.

Group 4
1 Mali; 2 Paraguay; 3 Iran; 4 Costa Rica.