In­dia out of U-17 World Cup af­ter Ghana thrashes hosts 4-0 thanks to Ayiah brace

The Asian Age - - Front Page - HARPREET KAUR LAMBA NEW DELHI, OCT. 12

Win­less In­dia bowed out of the Fifa Un­der-17 World Cup with a 0-4 thrash­ing at the hands of Ghana in their fi­nal Group A match at the Jawa­har­lal Nehru Sta­dium here on Thurs­day night.

In all, In­dia gave away nine goals and scored just one, but in their maiden Fifa event, the per­for­mance in the last week pro­vided many pos­i­tives.

On the day, they knew they needed a big win to stay in con­tention for the round of 16.

On the field though, the script played out on on ex­pected lines.

Ghana took time to set­tle but once they did, it was clear that they meant busi­ness. Skip­per Eric Ayiah was in top form, scor­ing two bril­liant goals (43rd, 52nd min­utes) that pushed In­dia on the back foot, while Danso Richard (86th) and Toku Em­manuel (87th) pumped in late goals to make it a night to re­mem­ber for the ta­ble-top­pers.

In­dia be­gan on a fast note look­ing for an early goal but it was not an easy task to get past the sturdy and ag­ile back line of Ed­mund Arko-Men­sah and Na­jeeb Yakubu.

It was the 43rd minute that changed the com­plex­ion of the game af­ter an even first half hour. Ghana’s Sadiq Ibrahim col­lected a ball from the centre and took a shot at goal from the right.

Goal­keeper Dheeraj Singh made a save but the ball fell to Aiyah, who was placed per­fectly at the top of the box. The Ghana skip­per, who had ear­lier missed a few chances, was spot on this time send­ing a pow­er­ful strike to si­lence the home crowd.

In the sec­ond half, it didn’t take Ghana long to slice open the de­fence yet again. And it was the man-in-form Aiyah once again as he picked up his sec­ond goal of the day mak­ing it 2-0 in the 52nd minute. The match also had its share of yel­low cards and plenty of hard tack­les as the teams played out a phys­i­cal game.

In­dia made sev­eral sub­sti­tu­tions – Ninthoin­ganba Meetei, Rahim Ali and Laleng­mawia com­ing in for Nong­damba Naorem, Amar­jit Singh and Aniket Jad­hav late in the game – but couldn’t get go­ing when it came to goals. In all, they only had six at­tempts at goal com­pared to Ghana’s 27 and that was more or less the story of the day. The home crowd kept deci­bels level high through­out try­ing to lift the team’s spir­its, but In­dia were left to play catch-up with Richard and Em­manuel carv­ing through the tired In­dian de­fence.

MALI SEAL LAST 16

BERTH Ear­lier, Mali joined group top­pers Paraguay in the round of 16 from Group B with a con­vinc­ing 3-1 win over New Zealand here.

Mali needed just a draw to ad­vance but went all out, mak­ing the Ki­wis sweat on the day. Jid­dou Salam (18th minute), Traore Dje­moussa (50th) and Ndi­aye Las­sana (82nd) scored in a match dom­i­nated by the African cham­pi­ons, who fin­ished with six points from three matches.

Mali were fluid in at­tack, work­ing well through the flanks and that showed in their fi­nal sta­tis­tics – the team hav­ing 36 at­tempts on goals to their op­po­nents’ four, and 61 per cent ball pos­ses­sion.

PRI­TAM BANDYOPADHYAY

Ghana’s Eric Ayiah (left) in ac­tion in their Un­der-17 World Cup Group A match against In­dia in New Delhi on Thurs­day.

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