Mali bundle Ghana out of Under-17 World Cup


Guwahati's heavy and continuous rain gave the IG Stadium pitch such a pounding that the Ghana v Mali quarter-final of the Under-17 World Cup was less an exhibition of footballing skill and more of adaptation, muscle strength and endurance.

Against the run of play, Salam Jiddou played a one-two with N'Diaye and found Hadji Drame who slotted the ball home in from an angle.

The conditions turned for the worse in the second period when the teams returned from the tunnel with the downpour getting heavier by the minute.

Chairman of the Local Organising Committee Praful Patel addressed the media yesterday and assured the people of Guwahati that they would not be left out of the football extravaganza and that FIFA Field Specialists are taking good care of the turf and they will get it back into proper condition within three days, just in time for 25th October's semi-final clash.

Mali came close to finding the target but Hadji Drames right footer from inside the box missed the right post by some margin in the sixth minute. Sadiq Ibrahim returned from suspension but did not find a place in the starting eleven.

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The side were nearly successful to score the equalizer too just before half-time when Ibrahim Sulley made a nice finish from a good attack a few minutes before the lemon break.

As Mali increased pressure, the Ghana citadel fell in the 15th minute. 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. His nice shot beat Ghana goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim before entered into the net.

The Mali players and support staff broke into wild celebrations at the final whistle following their hat-trick of wins in re-cent past over Ghana.

"The game should have been abandoned and played another time but then the organisers said we have to play and so we played", Fabin said when asked about his opinion whether the game should have been played today.