Millennium Post - - SPORT -

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.

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