Mumbai: India's campaign in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup ended on a sorrowful note at the DY Patil Stadium here on Thursday. They were beaten by a much stronger Ghana, whose players held sway all through the match with a domination that showed Indian colts their place.
A Group ‘A’ 0-4 loss completed the annihilation. Meanwhile, Mali booked their spot in the knockout stages with a dominant 3-1 win over New Zealand in a Group B match wile Meanwhile, Paraguay got past Turkey 3-1 to top Group B with a hat-trick of wins here on Thursday.
The result eliminates Turkey from the group stage as they finished fourth. From three games, Turkey have one point -- the same as New Zealand but the European side is behind on goal difference.
Salam Jiddou gave Mali the lead with a powerful shot from outside the penalty box in the 18th minute while Djemoussa Traore (50th) doubled the lead just after the restart.
New Zealand scored against the run of play in the 72nd minute when Charles Spragg headed an accurate cross to the second post by Elijah Just. Lassana N'Diaye (82nd) however, made the issue safe for Mali when he utilised some poor marking to slot home a pass by Konate.
Both teams needed a win in order to ensure second spot in the group and the Africa U-17 champions did so with aplomb. They ended the group stage with six points from three matches and advanced from the group along with Paraguay.
Mali dominated right from the start and the Kiwis were lucky to get away by conceding just two goals. The combination of Mali centre forward Salam Jiddou and Djemoussa Traore was too much to handle for the New Zealand defence.
Traore was superb down the wings while Salam was dangerous whenever he received the ball. The duo received excellent support from Fode Konate and Mali captain Mohamed Camara.
The Africans could have won by a bigger margin but Traore hit the post just before the break while Konate's effort from outside the Kiwi penalty box bounced off the underside of the bar in the 66th minute.
The Mali defence was also well organised and did not allow too much space to the Kiwi forwards. New Zealand have a very slim chance of making it to the knockouts, while Mali advance to Round-of-16 after finishing second in Group B. Giovanni Bogado scored a free-kick from 25 yards out to make it 1-0.
Two minutes later, Fernando Cardozo struck after being set up by Blas Armoa from the left wing. Turkey got a three-goal advantage in the 61st minute when Antonio Galeano's left-footed shot deflected off a defender and looped into the net. Already out of the match, Turkey found consolation three minutes into the injury time with a shot from Kerem Kesgin beating the Paraguay defence.