Skilful Germans outplay New Zealand 3-1 at FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup

New Zealand’s hopes of making the knockout phase of the FIFA U-17 Men’s World Cup have taken a setback after a 3-1 defeat by European champions Germany.

To go through to the Round of 16, New Zealand must now win their final group game against Mexico, and hope other results go their way, to become one of the best-performing third-placed teams.

In their latest game, the New Zealanders worked hard in humid conditions, pacing themselves better than in the opening game against Venezuela.

But it was far from enough. Germany were always dangerous, skilful and well-organised.

Germany started well and registered their first shot on target after five minutes when Max Moerstedt’s effort was turned past the post by ‘keeper Matt Foord.

The Germans had to wait till midway through the half before they got their second chance, a tame shot that Foord parried and was cleared by his defence.

Germany were dominating possession with New Zealand relying on counterattacks to make any impression.

New Zealand striker Stipe Ukich shot across the German goal from the edge of the area in the 26th minute.

Germany’s Noah Darvich hit the post with a stinging free kick from 25 metres.

In the 36th minute, another free kick almost broke the deadlock when Paris Brunner headed the ball onto the New Zealand crossbar from the set piece.

New Zealand defended well — and often — as half-time approached, slowing down the game in the humid conditions, and frustrating their opponents.

When it looked as though they would go into the break with the score level, Germany took the lead, seven minutes into added time.

Foord made an excellent reflex save but the ball rebounded to Brunner, who headed the ball into the net from close range.

It was a cruel blow.

Paris Brunner waits for the ball to drop so he can head the opening goal.

Germany doubled their lead on the hour when Max Moerstedt finished a move, a fair reward for the trouble he had caused the New Zealanders with his driving runs.

The clincher came in the 81st minute when Moerstedt headed against the crossbar, and the rebound fell to substitute Bilal Yalcinkaya, who calmly tapped the ball into the net.

As the game was about to enter stoppage time, New Zealand got their first goal at the tournament.

Substitute Nathan Walker was dragged down in the penalty area and won a penalty.

Adam Watson calmly struck the ball up the middle as the ‘keeper dived to his left.

The focus now turns to Saturday night (NZT) and the final group game, against Mexico.

Main photo: Adam Watson scores from the penalty spot for New Zealand.

Coach Martin Bullock’s reaction

READ MORE: Coach Martin Bullock after Germany loss: ‘We still feel we’re in this World Cup’ >>>>

Match stats

First half

New Zealand / Germany

Shots: 4 /15
Shots on target: 1 / 3
Possession: 22% / 58% (21% in contest)
Passes: 105 / 243
Pass accuracy: 68% / 91%
Fouls: 7 / 8
Offsides:0 / 1
Corners: 0 / 2

Full game

New Zealand / Germany

Shots: 6 / 26
Shots on target: 2 / 6
Possession: 21% / 62% (17% in contest)
Passes: 228 / 545
Pass accuracy: 69% / 90%
Fouls: 12 / 19
Offsides: 0 / 1
Corners: 0 / 7


Group F

Game played on Thursday November 16, 2023 (NZT)
Si Jalak Harupat Stadium, Bandung

New Zealand 1 (Adam Watson 90+1′)
Germany 3 (Paris Brunner 45+7′, Max Moerstedt 60′, Bilal Yalcinkaya 81′)

Game played on Wednesday November 15, 2023 (NZT)
Si Jalak Harupat Stadium, Bandung

Mexico 2 (Stephano Carrillo 62′, Luis Arturo Ortiz Zambrano 67′)
Venezuela 2 (Alejandro Gabriel Cichero Terrero 6′, Nicola Profeta Cabrales 84′, pen)



New Zealand’s starting line-up. Photo credit: NZ Football.

New Zealand

Matt Foord, Marley Leuluai (captain) (Paris Domfeh 87′), Luka Coveny (Jesper Edwards 87′), Dylan Gardiner, Stipe Ukich (Nathan Walker 77′), Adam Watson, Luke Supyk (Gabriel Sloane-Rodrigues 77′), Noah DuPont, Nick Murphy, Athan Thompson (Ryan Lee 61′), Luke Mitchell

Subs not used: Anton Isaako, Matt D’Hotman, Josh Brown (GK), Anaru Cassidy, Eamonn McCarron (GK)

Yellow cards: Coveny (35′), Leuluai (38′)


Max Schmitt, Finn Jeltsch (David Odogu 77′), Махіm Dal (Maximilian Herwerth 46′), Maximilian Hennig, Justin Von Der Hitz, Fayssal Harchaoui, Paris Brunner (Almugera Kabar 64′), Noah Darvich, Charles Herrmann (Bilal Yalcinkaya 64′), Assan Ouedraogo (Robert Ramsak 42′), Max Moerstedt

Subs not used: Konstantin Heide, Louis Babatz, Kurt Rueger, Winners Osawe, Eric Da Silva Moreira

Yellow card: Harchaoui (11′)


Referee: Dahane Beida (Mauritania)
Assistant: Dimbiniaina Andriatianarivelo (Madagascar)
Assistant: Koffi Jonathan Ahonto (Togo)
Fourth official: Aprisman Aranda (Indonesia)
VAR: Lahlou BENBRAHAM (Algeria)
Assistant VAR: Aleandro Di Paulo (Italy)


Game to be played on Saturday November 18, 2023

New Zealand v Mexico
Si Jalak Harupat Stadium, Bandung (10pm NZT)

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