Mali lose to Paraguay in a five-goal thriller

Mali lose to Paraguay in a five-goal thriller

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 06, 2017. 19:38

Paraguay overcame Mali 3-2 in the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup Group B match at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Friday.

The victory takes Paraguay's Junior White and Red to the top of the Group B standings, while the Junior Eagles of Mali are placed fourth on the table.

The Junior White and Red dominated the opening stages of the match and they managed to break the deadlock.

Antonio Galeano beat Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita 12 minutes into the game to make it 1-0 to Paraguay.

It was soon 2-0 to Paraguay as Leonardo Sanchez hit the back of the net five minutes later with the Mali defence exposed.

However, the Junior Eagles pulled one back through their dangerman Hadji Drame, who made it 2-1 for Mali in the 20th minute.

The 2017 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions then pushed for the equalizing goal with the half-time break fast approaching.

Lassana Ndiaye levelled matters in the 34th minute - beating Paraguay keeper Diego Huesca to make it 2-2 for the Junior Eagles.

The score was 2-2 at the interval following an entertaining first-half which produced four goals.

Paraguay, who finished third at the 2017 South American Under-17 Championship, were able to restore their lead after restart.

The Junior White and Red were awarded a penalty which was converted by Alan Rodriguez to make it 3-2 to Paraguay in the 55th minute.

Jonas Kokou Komla, the Mali coach, then introduced Boubacar Haidara for Drame in the 68th minute as the Junior Eagles searched for the equalizing goal.

However, this time the Junior White and Red were able to defend very well as they contained the Junior Eagles in the closing stages.

Paraguay managed to hold on to their slender lead in the dying minutes of the match and they emerged 3-2 winners.

Paraguay (2) 3 (Galeano 12', Sanchez 17', Rodriguez 55')
Mali (2) 2 (Drame 20', Ndiaye 34')

Paraguay: Huesca, Jesus Rolon, Fernandez, Duarte, Ojeda, Galeano (Armo 63'), Romero (Villasanti 59'), Baez (Gomez 85'), Sanchez, Marcelo Rolon, Rodriguez.

Mali: Koita, Traore, Konate, Fofana, Camara, Drame (Haidara 68'), Giddou (Doucoure 85'), Diaby, Samake, Kane, Ndiaye (Camara 72').

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