Guinea are making their fifth FIFA U-17 World Cup appearance at India 2017. Along with Nigeria and Congo, Le Syli Cadet ('Junior National Elephants') were one of the first three African sides to take part in the competition, recording two wins, two draws and two defeats en route to finishing fourth at China 1985. Four years later in Scotland, they missed out on a place in the second round, despite finishing the group phase unbeaten with three draws. The Guineans fell at the first hurdle again in their third tournament appearance at Ecuador 1995, beating Portugal but losing to Argentina and Costa Rica. The Junior National Elephants suffered another first-round exit two years ago in Chile, where they drew 1-1 with England and lost 3-1 and 1-0 to Brazil and Korea Republic, respectively.
Guinea showed mental strength in reaching India 2017. Drawn against Morocco in the second round of qualifying for the 2017 CAF U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, the Guineans came from 1-0 down in both legs before advancing on penalties on Moroccan soil. After negotiating the third round, they kicked off the continental finals in Gabon with a 5-1 victory over the host nation. A 1-1 draw with Cameroon and a goalless stalemate with Ghana secured them a place in the last four, and with it, a trip to the world finals. Beaten 2-0 on penalties by Mali after another goalless draw in the semis, Guinea then secured third place with a 3-1 win over Niger.
Souleymane Camara owes his nickname 'Abedi' to his admiration for Ghana legend Abedi Pele. A former playmaker himself, Camara boasts an excellent reputation in Guinea, having enjoyed a long and successful career as a player-coach, during which he won two national cups with FC Sequence. The coach of Guinean first division side Satellite FC since December 2016, he has put together a fine U-17 national team at the same time, one that is now hoping to make its mark on the global scene following its exploits in the continental finals.
6 - Aside from finishing third at this year’s U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, Guinea left Gabon with another accolade to their name, as Djibril Fandje Toure finished as top scorer with six goals to win the competition’s golden boot award.