Mali down Ghana to reach semis

Mali down Ghana to reach semis

Darren Sullivan
October 23, 2017

Mali advanced themselves to the semifinals after defeating Ghana 2-1 in a Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup quarterfinal match at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.

After the gruelling 90 minutes of football that was on display by the two African teams Ghana and Mali, the pitch looked like it had a few beatings.

Mali turned the heat early on in the wet and windy conditions as Mohammed Idriss' cross found no takers inside the box with N'Diaye running forward. However, experience, a word that is a paradox given the nature of this youth tournament, became the undoing of Ghana as Mali waddled through hard conditions to become the first side to register a spot in the final four of the competition. Releasing Drame, who gave it his all in the run, could not be stopped by Rashid Alhassan, who fell victim to the field as he took a tumble and the powerful shot found the back of the net, much to the relief of those on the Mali bench. Sadiq Ibrahim returned from suspension but did not find a place in the starting eleven.

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On the other end, Eric Ayiah failed to showcase his poaching instincts as Ibrahim Sulley set him up but three minutes later, Mali broke the deadlock. Mali, however, dominated the majority of passages of play, and took the lead on 15 minutes. Samuel Fabin would have been asked a lot of questions as Sadiq did earn a penalty with his pace proving too quick for Fode Konate.

Djemoussa Traore made absolutely no mistake in taking advantage of a defence lapse in the 61st minute to make it 2-0. "I thought the game should have been abandoned and played in another time but those who were organizing the game they said the game should be played, so we played".

However although Mali won the game today but there would be one disappointment for the team as they will miss the service of captain Mohamed Camara who received second yellow card in the game and will be out from the squad which will play in the semi finals.