England Under-17s to face Argentina

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The Independent Football

A quarter-century and eight days after the Hand of God, and that other, superlative goal by Diego Maradona, England and Argentina meet again in Mexico tonight with a World Cup at stake.

This time it is the under-17 version, and the last-16 stage, but both teams know the tie has wider resonance. "This is a historical classic," said Argentina's Brian Ferreira, who scored a spectacular 40-yard goal in his team's last match. "There is always something special when England and Argentina play," said Crewe's Max Clayton. "If we manage to beat Argentina I think there's no limit to where this England team can go."

Maybe, but this is one time when topping the group, as England did with two wins and a draw, has done them no favours. A strong-looking German side are the probable quarter-final opponents with hosts Mexico, or France, likely to be semi-final opposition.

The French beat Argentina who scraped through as one of the best third-placed finishers after also losing to Japan. Nevertheless, history suggests they will be dangerous opponents.