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Rediff.com  » Sports » U-17: Mali thrash Turkey, US and Paraguay advance

U-17: Mali thrash Turkey, US and Paraguay advance

Last updated on: October 09, 2017 22:28 IST

Images from the FIFA Under-17 World Cup matches played on Monday:

Mali pump in three past hapless Turkey

IMAGE from the Mali vs Turkey FIFA Under-17 World Cup match in Navi Mumbai. Photograph: PTI

African champions Mali bounced back after their opening match defeat by thrashing Turkey 3-0 in a Group B game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at the D Y Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Monday.

Having lost their lung opener 2-3 to Paraguay on October 6, last edition's losing finalists Mali needed nothing less than a victory today and they achieved it with elan by scoring once in the first half and twice in the second.

 

The Turks were outclassed and were lucky not to have conceded more goals.

After missing a spate of chances, Mali took the lead through midfielder Djemoussa Traore in the 38th minute. They made it 2-0 when their misfiring forward Lassana N'Diaye found the target in the 68th minute before defender Fode Konate rounded off the tally in the 86th minute by sidestepping two defenders.

It was the first win in two games for the Africans who meet New Zealand on October 12 to complete their group engagements while Turkey, who drew with New Zealand on October 6, are up against Paraguay on Thursday.

Turkey were simply outclassed by the passing skills exhibited by Mali in match that was played under a persistent drizzle initially before the rains increased in intensity later.

The Africans also constantly switched the ball across the field to get things moving.

Mali, runners-up to fellow Africans Nigeria two years ago, took the lead through midfielder Djemoussa Traore late in the first half.

Traore ran forward without being challenged off a long diagonal pass by Abdoulaye Diaby and his left-footed angular shot beat Turkey goalkeeper Berke Ozer to find the far corner of the net in the 38th minute.

Prior to this strike, three gilt-edged chances were missed by striker N'Diaye who was fed on a platter by the midfielders but could not put the ball in.

His first shot went off target after striking the rival custodian Ozer who had his hands full in thwarting the constant attack on his citadel by the African team.

On two other occasions, N'Diaye fluffed after being fed first by Hadji Drame with a fine through ball and then a cross from the right by Konate.

Two more long-range attempts by captain Mohammad Camara sailed over the cross bar.

Finally, after three corner kicks were wasted, Mali took the lead through Traore.

Turkey hardy got a good look at the Mali goal except on a couple of occasions in the first half.

N'Diaye at last got into the score-sheet early in the second half when he booted in a rebound that came off the left post from an attempt by Diaby in the 70th minute to give Mali a handy 2-0 lead.

Just prior to this goal, the Mali front-liner was denied a sure goal by the alertness shown by Turkey goalie Ozer when he connected a shallow cross from first goal scorer Traore.

Heavy rains started to drench the ground soon after the second goal and Mali could have taken a 3-0 lead but for the woodwork spoiling an on-the-run left-footed attempt by substitute Mamadou Traore in the 77th minute.

But they were not to be denied nine minutes later when Konate hoodwinked two defenders and shot at the goal and the ball bounced in after hitting the underside of the cross bar.

US beat Ghana 1-0, through to Round of 16

IMAGE: US captain Josh Sargent, left, tries to get the ball past a couple of Ghana players. Photograph: PTI

United States of America secured their passage into the round of 16 riding on substitute Ayo Akinola's 75-minute strike for a 1-0 victory over Ghana in an enthralling Group A game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Delhi.

Coach John Hackworth's 63rd minute substitution proved to be a masterstroke as the 17-year-old forward found the back of the net off a Christopher Goslin pass to put his team in front at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Up against a dangerous side that has won the tournament twice, the Americans then sat deep to counter Ghana's quick counterattacks.

Ghana tried to find the equaliser, but US's dogged defence could not be breached as they become the first team to make it to the knockout stage.

Some credit must be reserved for Hackworth, who, realising that Tim Weah, one of his better players, was having an off day, decided to make the change.

And the move paid dividends 12 minutes later.

The Detroit-born Akinola, who was also eligible to play for Canada and Nigeria, could have had another goal to his name, but his shot went over.

In a battle for the top spot in the group, both Ghana and US showed enterprise and even though the Americans dominated possession, the Africans looked dangerous with their speed and had eight attempts on target to their opponents' six in the first half.

Throughout, Ghana had more attempts than the Americans.

US relied on keeping possession to counter Ghana's speed and in this contest between the two physically strong sides, midfielder Chris Goslin was shown a yellow card for a harsh tackle on Isaac Gyamfi. Eventually, it was the midfielder whose assist turned out to be the decisive one.

Vega's brace lifts Paraguay to victory

IMAGE: Paraguay's Alan Rodriguez, centre, celebrates after scoring a goal. Photograph: PTI

Anibal Vega scored a brace as Paraguay snatched a 4-2 win over New Zealand in Group B game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, in Navi Mumbai.

Despite Paraguay skipper Alexis Duarte conceded two own goals, Vega ensured full three points for his side by finding the net in the 75th and 78th minutes.

New Zealand were leading 2-1 at the half-way mark, courtesy two own goals by Duarte, but Paraguay bounced back in the style to record their second win of the tournament and qualify for the knockout rounds.

With this win Paraguay have six points in the kitty and are on top of the table.

Paraguay took the lead in the second minute when Alan Rodriguez successfully converted a free kick. Rodriguez curled the ball from his magical left foot, which dipped into the top left corner of the goal, leaving the Kiwi goalie Jacob Clarke completely foxed.

In the 11th minute, Paraguay could have extended the lead, but Leonardo Sanchez's shot was brilliantly saved by the Kiwi goalkeeper.

New Zealand, who drew 1-1 with Turkey, were playing without their regular skipper Max Mata, who missed this match because of two yellow cards he received in their tournament opener.

In the 20th minute, Paraguay conceded an own goal, courtesy an untimely deflection by skipper Duarte to help New Zealand level the scores.

It was harrowing day for Duarte, who scored another own goal in the 34th minute to hand New Zealand a 2-1 lead.

In the early stages of the second half, Paraguay became desperate to equalise but New Zealand were brilliant in their defence.

New Zealand could have made it 3-1 in the 64th minute but a header from Charles Spragg went over the bar.

Paraguay were finally rewarded in the 75th minute when the equaliser came through Vega.

Just three minutes later, fortunes turned for Paraguay when the same combination of Sanchez and Vega gave them a 3-2 lead with the latter scoring.

Paraguay extended in the 91st minute when Blas Armoa made a run from the right flank, dribbling past New Zealand full back with a quick clip and then fired home a shot past the Kiwi goalkeeper.

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