MALI ENTER KNOCKOUT ROUND WITH 3-1 WIN OVER NEW ZEALAND
NEW DELHI: African champions Mali breezed into the knock-out rounds of the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a dominating 3-1 win over New Zealand in their final group game on Thursday. Mali, the last edition’s runners-up, took the lead in the 18th minute through Salam Jiddou who struck a 25-yard stunner. The first goal supplier Djemoussa Traore then turned scorer in the 50th minute as he curled in a right footer into New Zealand net from top of the box. Lassana Ndiaye scored the third goal for Mali in the 82nd minute while Charles Spragg scored the consolation goal for New Zealand in the 72nd minute at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Left winger Traore was a constant threat for the New Zealand defence throughout the match with his speed, ball control and deft footwork. He was supported well upfront by the likes of Jiddou, Mahamadou Samake and Hadji Drame. Mali finished second in Group B with six points from two wins and booked a round of 16 berth. Paraguay topped the group with an all-win record. They beat Turkey 3-1 in the other Group B match.