Saturday Oct 07, 2017. 18:36
Niger edged out North Korea 1-0 in their first match at the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup which was played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Saturday.
The victory takes debutants Niger to second spot on the Group D standings, while North Korea are placed third on the table.
North Korea's Junior Chollima were looking to beat Niger's diminutive goalkeeper Khaled Lawali from range in the opening stages of the match.
Yun Min, the North Korea captain, saw his long range effort miss the target, before hitting the crossbar with Lawali well-beaten.
Junior Chollima coach Kim Yong-su made the first change of the match in the 34th minute with Kung Jin-Song being replaced by Ri Kang-Guk.
Yacine Wa Massamba, Niger's right-back, made a good forward run, but his low shot was easily saved by North Korea keeper Sin Tae-Song just before the break.
As a result, the score was 0-0 between Niger and North Korea in the Indian city of Kochi.
The Junior Menas were the better side in the opening exchanges of the second-half and they deservedly broke the deadlock.
Salim Abdourahmane was the player, who made history when he fired past Song to make it 1-0 to Niger in the 59th minute.
This was Niger's first ever goal in the U17 World Cup finals with Habibou Sofiane grabbing a well deserved assist after some good work in the right hand side.
The Junior Chollima had a chance to level matters in 72nd minute, but Kwon Nam-Hyok's low shot was well saved by Lawali.
At the other end, the Junior Menas should have doubled their lead, but Ibrahim Boubacar Marou was denied by Song, before Abdourahmane missed the target from close range.
North Korea could not snatch a late equalizing goal in the closing stages and ultimately, Niger won 1-0 - securing their first ever victory in U17 World Cup finals.
Niger (0) 1 (Abdourahmane 59')
North Korea (0) 0
Niger: Khaled; Yacine, Farouk, Sofiane, Alfari (Kader 29'), Karim, Djibrilla, Rachid (Mahamane 77'), Ibrahim (Hamid 88'), Namata, Salim.
N.Korea: Song, Sok, Tam, Kwang Sok, Hun, Hwang (Kwang Min 82'), Jin, Jin Song (Kang Guk 34' Pom Hyok 79'), C.Kwang, Min, Hyok.