U-17 World Cup: Spain beat Mali to enter final

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Spain rode on a brace from striker Abel Ruiz to defeat an impressive Mali 3-1 and enter the final of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here on Wednesday.

Ruiz (19th, 43rd minutes) struck twice for Spain before half-time while Ferran Torres (71st) got the third goal.

Lassana N'Diaye scored a consolation goal for Mali in the 74th minute. N'Diaye and Ruiz are now the joint second highest scorers in the tournament with six goals from six matches each.

Spain will now meet England in the final on Saturday. England beat Brazil 3-1 in the other semi-final in Kolkata earlier on Wednesday.

This is the fourth time in the history of the tournament that Spain have entered the final. However, they have never managed to win the title.

The reigning European U-17 champions lost by identical 0-1 margins to Ghana and Brazil in the finals of the 1991 and 2003 editions respectively. Nigeria beat them to the title in 2007.

Spain also finished third in 1997 and 2009.

It was heartbreak for Mali as they crashed out despite playing impressive football. The Africans played exciting, attacking football throughout their campaign and Wednesday's match was no different.

Mali, who had reached the final of the previous edition in 2015, matched their rivals move for move for the most part and it was only the superb finishing ability of Spain centre forward Ruiz that was the major difference between the two teams.

Spain created their first chance in the second minute when a cross by Ruiz from the right was deflected by the Mali defence and Sergio Gomez punched the rebound towards goal. But Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita pulled off a superb diving save.

Mali replied at the other end when N'Diaye hit the side netting in the ninth minute.

Spain were awarded a penalty when a mistake by the Mali defence saw an unmarked Cesar Gelabert storm into the penalty box before being brought down by Abdoulaye Diaby. Ruiz stepped forward to give Spain the lead.

That was followed by a lengthy period during which Mali dominated possession with Spain creating regular chances on the counter. The best of those chances fell to Ruiz in the 33rd minute when his attempt beat the Mali custodian before missing the target by mere inches.

Spain doubled their lead shortly before the break when Ruiz latched on to a defence splitting pass from Gomez and found the target with a first time attempt.

Mali were denied a legitimate goal in the 62nd minute when a long range attempt from Cheick Oumar Doucoure dipped beautifully and hit the underside of the crossbar before hitting the inside of the right upright to bounce out.

But with no goal line technology to assist the referee, all the furious protests from the Mali bench came to nought even as the local crowd threw their weight behind the Africans.

Torres added to the Africans' woes when he headed down a cross from Gomez to score Spain's third goal.

N'Diaye reduced the margin for Mali soon after when he neatly received a cross, saw off a Spanish defender before calmly beating the goalkeeper.

That was the only piece of celebrations the African U-17 champions eventually managed in this match as Spain held on for the win.

Express your comment on this article

Submit your comments...
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are strictly personal and IndiansinKuwait.com does not hold any responsibility on them. We shall endeavour to upload/publish as many of the comments that are submitted as possible within a reasonable span of time, but we do not guarantee that all comments that are submitted will be uploaded/published. Messages that harass, abuse or threaten other members; have obscene, unlawful, defamatory, libellous, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content; or have spam, commercial or advertising content or links are liable to be removed by the editors. We also reserve the right to edit the comments that do get published. Please do not post any private information unless you want it to be available publicly.

Don’t Want a Day… Want a Deal!

I am a Woman and like me, there are countless other women out there who do not want Days to commemo


My heart, my soul and all my sincerity is for this country – Ajiaz Ahmad Sarfaraz

“By serving this great country for more than three decades, I feel that the word ‘great’ fully appl


Teamwork Makes The Dream Work! – Nomaan Sidiq Budroo, Captain of Kuwait U-19 Cricket Team

Kuwait Cricket’s National U 19 team returned home after their best ever performance in the ICC U 19


A Walk in the Garden…

Our garden in Salmiya is an exciting learning-place… Every walk in it, teaches something every time


Take Thoughts Outside Box

"Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?’’ I sighed, when others were busy with Keats, S


‘Be what you are, Do what you can’, a self-confident go getter, N.K. Ramachandran Menon

He believes, ‘No one can influence anyone’. He believes, ‘I can only be me and it is true for ever


How to carry out a winning scientific project?

I have been involved in judging scientific projects in schools and colleges for the past three deca


Extraordinary artist of ribbon work – Mrs Poornima

Hand Embroidery is one of the most beautiful artworks. There are variety of Embroideries which uses


Work hard, but enjoy your job – Ravi Varrier spending 40 years in a company!

Spending long working years with a company may not be a big deal if you are a sincere employee. But


Smart Investing - Diversification is the Mantra: Don’t keep all the eggs in one basket

Investment is an activity which everyone should be involved once they start earning. But where to i


New Menu at Zafran Puts Contemporary Spin on the Traditional

Fans of Zafran can rejoice as the popular Indian bistro launches a new menu this week. The front


A nostalgic and delicious train journey in Kuwait at Kerala Express Restaurant

A train journey during our annual vacation in India is definitely a nostalgic experience for many o


Mughal Mahal Exotica - An aromatic and exotic twist to Indian food

When it comes to Indian food in Kuwait, no doubt ‘Mughal Mahal’ set an example among the residents


Experience Indian Corner Tandoori Nights at Al Manshar Rotana Hotel

Al Manshar Rotana Hotel at Fahaheel, Kuwait launched an authentic Tandoori Night with an Indian cor


Del Potro eliminates Ferrer at Indian Wells

Sixth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro rose to the round of 16 of the Indian Wells Masters te


U G C 42nd Edition Football 2018 and Interschool Under - 15 Football Tournament

Wednesday,7th March 2018: Last Friday started off with an early morning kickoff of the conclusion t


Kuwait Cricket Concludes AGM in Emphatic Style Kc President Haider Farman Appoints Gibbs as National Coach

Kuwait Cricket, the official governing body for Cricket in Kuwait, conducted their AGM in a specta


KCWA Cricket Cup 2018

Kuwait Canara Welfare Association (KCWA) held Cricket Cup 2018 on Friday, 2nd March at Trinity & RC


ISL: Goa enhance playoffs chances with 5-1 rout of ATK

FC Goa thrashed ATK 5-1 here on Wednesday to enhance their chances of a playoffs berth by moving