Under-17s bow out of World Cup

Leon van den Hoven of New Zealand and Lassana Ndiaye of Mali

Leon van den Hoven of New Zealand and Lassana Ndiaye of Mali

African champions Mali breezed into the knock-out rounds of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup with a dominating 3-1 win over New Zealand in their final group game here today.Mali, the last editions runners-up, took the lead in the 18th minute through Salam Jiddou who struck a 25-yard stunner.

Lassana Ndiaye scored the third goal for Mali in the 82nd minute while Charles Spragg scored the consolation goal for New Zealand in the 72nd minute at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

With this win Mali finish in second in their pool with six points from three matches while Paraguay topped Group B with an all win record beating Turkey 3-1 in the other match at Mumbai.

While Hay finally had a full squad to pick from, including Max Mata who returned from suspension, they were unable to get near Mali.

The Africans could have won by a bigger margin but Traore hit the post just before the break while Konate's effort from outside the Kiwi penalty box bounced off the underside of the bar in the 66th minute. The first goal supplier Djemoussa Traore then turned scorer in the 50th minute as he curled in a right footer into New Zealand net from top of the box.

"We were in a very, very tough group and were more than aware of that", he said after the match. "I can't fault us, we were just up against some very good teams".

Mali struck straight after the interval when Djemoussa Traore added a goal to his earlier assist after he curled a handsome shot into the top right corner, leaving Zac Jones no chance in the New Zealand goal.

"Mali are African champions for a reason and came into the tournament as one of the favourites".

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