A look into Junior Starlets' opponents for the upcoming U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup: What should they expect?

A look into Junior Starlets' opponents for the upcoming U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup: What should they expect?

Mark Kinyanjui 06:05 - 24.06.2024

Kenya have been grouped in group C of the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup alongside Mexico, South Korea and England. This is what you need to know about the three teams:

The Kenya national U17 women’s football team, known as the Junior Starlets, are set for a challenging debut in the 2024 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup. 

Drawn in Group C, Kenya will face formidable opponents: England, Korea DPR, and Mexico in the tournament to be held in the Dominican Republic this October.

Kenya’s opening match against England on Thursday, October 17, 2024, marks a historic moment in Kenyan football. Here’s a closer look at the teams they will face:


The Young Lionesses have a strong track record in the U17 Women’s World Cup, having participated twice and finishing fourth in 2008. 

Their best performance in European competition was a third-place finish at the 2016 UEFA Women’s Under-17 Championship, reaching the quarter-finals the same year. 

The current squad is filled with talent nurtured in top women’s football academies in England, including seven players from the Arsenal academy.

England’s recent form is intimidating, losing just one of their last 11 games. This run includes emphatic victories such as an 8-0 thrashing of Hungary, a 6-0 demolition of Belgium, and a 5-1 win over Sweden.

 Players to watch include Vela Jones, who has scored eight goals in nine appearances, and Isabella Fisher, with seven goals in 11 caps. The Junior Starlets will need to be defensively robust to counter the threat posed by these prolific scorers.

North Korea

Korea DPR is one of the tournament favorites, boasting a rich history in the competition with three World Cup finals appearances and titles in 2008 and 2016.

 Their squad’s dominance was evident as they stormed to victory in the Asian U-17 Women’s Cup earlier this year, winning all five games. Jon Il-chong, who won the golden boot with six goals, and goalkeeper Pak Ju-gyong, who secured the golden glove, are standout players.

Their group stage performance was particularly impressive, scoring 22 goals and defeating teams like North Korea, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Kenya will face a tough challenge against this formidable team.


Under the guidance of Mónica Vergara, Mexico reached the final of the 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, their best-ever performance, although they lost 2-1 to Spain.

They won the 2013 CONCACAF Women’s U-17 Championship and were runners-up in 2018. The current squad is experienced, with most players competing in the Liga MX Femenil, benefiting from the league's 1000-minute requirement for young players.

Mexico has consistently qualified for every U-17 Women’s World Cup since 2010, showcasing their pedigree. In the recent CONCACAF U-17 girls' competition, they topped their group and defeated Canada in the semi-finals before losing 4-1 to the United States in the final. 

Key players include top goalscorer Abril Fragoso and goalkeeper Camila Vázquez, who won the golden glove.

What to Expect

Kenya’s Junior Starlets are up against highly experienced and successful teams. The Young Lionesses’ attacking prowess, Korea DPR’s dominance, and Mexico’s consistent performances at the international level present a stern test. 

However, the opportunity to compete at this level is invaluable for the Junior Starlets, who will look to make their mark on the global stage.

As Kenya gears up for its debut in the 2024 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, the team’s journey begins with a formidable group stage.

 The experience gained from facing top-tier teams like England, Korea DPR, and Mexico will be crucial for the development of Kenyan women’s football. The Junior Starlets will aim to showcase their talent, resilience, and determination on the world stage.

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