FIFA U-17 WC: Flamboyant Colombia punishes U.S.

A 3-1 defeat pushes down U.S. to the third spot in the points table and the side will advance to the next round only if it finishes among the top four third-placed teams from the six groups.

Juan Penaloza (right) of Colombia celebrates after scoring his goal.   -  AFP

United States faced a reality check after a 3-1 defeat to Colombia that pushed it to the third spot in Group B.

Colombia’s hunt for goals and points in the race for qualification resulted in a fascinating display of attacking play for long stretches at the D. Y. Patil stadium. Two goals from set-pieces - a throw-in and a direct free-kick - and a stunning finish set up a pulsating 3-1 win for the flamboyant South Americans.

Match Centre

Although both sides now possess six points, the U.S. is positioned behind Ghana and Colombia in the points table due to goal difference. The U.S. will advance to the next round if it finishes among the top four third-placed sides from the six groups.

Read: India bows out with Ghana hiding as Ayiah bags brace

The U. S. team was put under pressure early. Its back-line was punished in the third minute for failure to clear a long throw-in. The ball rose high for Deiber Caicedo to nod back for Juan Vidal to sweep home on the bounce. But before long, the tables were turned.

U.S.’s Andrew Carleton found a path through the defence on the right, made an incisive run to the box, and pulled back for George Acosta to slam home first time.

In the second half, Colombia surged ahead as Juan Penaloza’s looping free-kick found the the roof of the net. The Colombian took off on a celebratory run. He had scored twice to quell India.

And to take the contest beyond reach of its counterpart from the northern hemisphere, Caicedo scored in the 87th minute.

U.S.’s persistence in the rival half resulted in Carleton setting off on a dangerous run across from the middle to left but was halted at the expense of a free-kick. But the move didn’t make much difference to the eventual result.

Scores

Colombia 3 (Juan Vidal 3, Juan Penaloza 67, Deiber Caicedo 87) bt United States 1 (George Acosta 24).

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