FIFA U-17 World Cup: Mali opens account with 3-0 win over Turkey

Djemoussa Traore, Lassana Ndiaye and Fode Konate helped Mali score an emphatic 3-0 win over Turkey in a Group B encounter in Navi Mumbai on Monday.

Mali's player Mohamed Camara, centre, duels for the ball against Turkey's Ahmed Kutucu, right, during the FIFA U-17 World Cup match in Mumbai on Monday.   -  AP

A modest but boisterous crowd at the D.Y. Patil stadium cheered Mali, as it got off the mark at this year's FIFA Under-17 World Cup with a 3-0 win against Turkey in a pulsating Group B encounter here on Monday.

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After a period of sustained pressure from either side, the African champion finally broke the jinx when in the 38th minute, a through ball by Drame was slotted home expertly by No.3 Djemoussa Traore for the opening goal.

Lassana Ndiaye doubled the lead in the 68th minute, powering one into the net following a corner. Fode Konate hammered the proverbial nail in Turkey's coffin with a third goal near full-time.

 

Earlier, Mali had come close to grabbing the lead in as early as the fourth minute when Mamadou Samake's through ball was miscued to the left by Ndiaye. Minutes later, the latter was once again in the thick of the action, this time, failing to convert a pass by star striker Hadji Drame as Mali continued to attack the Turkish defence.

READ: Team analysis - Group B

Turkey's window of opportunity came in the 16th minute when Yunus Akgun fired one in from the right of the box only for Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita to thwart the danger without much ado.

MALI'S FORMATION

 

Another one-on-one between Turkey's lone scorer from last match Ahmed Kutucu and Atalay Babacan ensued soon after, raising hopes momentarily but the duo eventually flattered to deceive.

READ: Turkey optimistic of knockout place despite loss

The second-half saw both teams vie for possession with the young Turks threatening to steal an equaliser when Sefa Akgun propelled one from outside the box, but hopes were quelled soon enough as the ball landed into the stands.

Umut Gunes too missed an easy opportunity off Recep Gul's assist, launching one into the night sky. Turkey failed to entice lady luck for the remainder of the game.

On a wet evening at the D.Y. Patil stadium, Turkey was left to rue a slippery defence which leaked goals against a formidable opposition, confident of extending its stay in the subcontinent.

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