Mali players celebrates during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ghana and Mali at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 28 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Thursday Oct 05, 2017. 10:15
Mali will square off with Paraquay in their maiden encounter of the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup on Friday.
Kick-off is at 16h30 CAT.
The Group B match will be played at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, India.
The Junior Eagles secured their place in the finals after winning the 2017 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title.
Hadji Dramé, who plays for Yelleni Olimpic, is was one of Mali's key star forwards having scored three goals at the U17 AFCON.
Jonas Kokou Komla is the Mali head coach and the Junior Eagles have never won the U17 World Cup, but they finished second in 2015.
Meawnhile, Paraguay qualified for the World Cup after finishing third at the 2017 South American Under-17 Championship.
Nacional forward Fernando Romero, who is a key player in the Junior White and Red team, scored three goals at the Championship.
Gustavo Morínigo is the Paraguay head coach and the Junior White and Red's best performance in the U17 World Cup was in 2005 - reaching the quarter-finals.
The last time Mali and Paraguay clashed in the U17 World Cup was in 2001. The Junior White and Red won 2-1 in Trinidad and Tobago.