Vanuatu will face the might of Germany and Mexico on their FIFA U-20 World Cup debut in Korea while France headlines New Zealand’s group following tonight’s draw in Suwon.

OFC U-20 Championship winners New Zealand – who were drawn out of Pot 2 given their status as confederation champions and performance over the past five tournaments – open their campaign in Group E against Asian debutants Vietnam in Cheonan on May 22.

They then face Honduras before finishing against European champions and group seeds France in Daejeon as Darren Bazeley’s charges seek a second straight appearance in the knockout stages.

New Zealand’s Clayton Lewis, who is heading for his second U-20 World Cup while he juggles commitments with Auckland City and the senior national team welcomed news of the draw on Twitter.

“It was an interesting draw,” New Zealand coach Darren Bazeley told FIFA.com. “We’re up against European champions France, who are very strong, while Vietnam and Honduras are not easy, either. We were the hosts last time out, but we’re rather like underdogs or challengers this time around. However, our target is to get out of this group and go on from there.”

Meanwhile Vanuatu, making an historic first appearance at FIFA age-group World Cup, face a tough introduction to the global stage beginning with a May 20 date with North American powerhouses Mexico in Daejeon.

Venezuela is next up three days later for Dejan Gluscevic’s side in Group B before they take on Germany in Jeju on May 26.

The 24-team tournament in the Korea Republic marks the first time two OFC nations have qualified for a FIFA event without one of them acting as a host.

New Zealand and Vanuatu qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea 2017 by reaching the final of the 2016 OFC U-20 Championship in Vanuatu last September. New Zealand went on to claim their sixth title by beating Vanuatu 5-0 in the final.

FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea 2017

Groups

A: Korea Republic, Guinea, Argentina, England

B: Venezuela, Germany, Vanuatu, Mexico

C: Zambia, Portugal, Iran, Costa Rica

D: South Africa, Japan, Italy, Uruguay

E: France, Honduras, Vietnam, New Zealand

F: Ecuador, USA, Saudi Arabia, Senegal

New Zealand and Vanuatu’s matches

May 20

Vanuatu v Mexico

Daejeon

17:00 (19:00 VUT)

May 22

Vietnam v New Zealand

Cheonan

17:00 (20:00 NZST)

May 23

Venezuela v Vanuatu

Daejeon

17:00 (19:00 VUT)

May 25

New Zealand v Honduras

Cheonan

20:00 (23:00 NZST)

May 26

Germany v Vanuatu

Jeju

17:00 (19:00 VUT)

May 28

New Zealand v France

Daejeon

15:00 (18:00 NZST)

OFC

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