Spanish midfielder Antonio Blanco (L) duels for the ball against Niger's Habibou Sofiane (R) during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 group D soccer match between Spain and Niger at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, India, 10 October 2017. EPA/PRAKASH ELAMAKKARA
Tuesday Oct 10, 2017. 15:48
Spain thumped Niger 4-0 in the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup Group D match at the Jawaharlal Nehru in Kochi, India on Tuesday.
The victory takes the Junior Red Fury to the top of the group standings, while the Junior Menas slip down to third spot with one match left.
The Junior Red Fury looked dangerous each time they pushed forward and they managed to break the deadlock through Abel Ruiz.
The forward beat Niger goalkeeper Khaled Lawali from close range to make it 1-0 to Spain 21 minutes into the match.
The Junior Menas were struggling to contain the 2017 U17 European Championship winners, who doubled their lead in the 41st minute.
It was Ruiz once again who scored for the Junior Red Fury as he fired home to make it 2-0 to Spain after Niger had failed to clear the ball away.
Niger found it difficult to beat Spain keeper Alvaro Fernandez with the half-time break fast approaching.
The score was 3-0 to Spain at the interval after Cesar Gelabert fired past Lawali from close range on the stroke of half-time.
The Junior Red Fury were happy to keep possession in their own half in the opening stages of the second-half.
Niger coach Soumaila Tiemogo reacted by introducing lanky striker Hamid Galissoune a minute after the hour-mark.
Lawali had to produced a fantastic save to deny Cesar 10 minutes later as the Europeans looked to extend their lead.
However, the Junior Red Fury did extend their lead through Sergio Gomez, who beat Lawali with a low shot in the 82nd minute.
Niger could not snatch a late consolation goal and ultimately, Spain secured a 4-0 victory on the day.
Niger (0) 0
Spain (3) 4 (Ruiz 21', 41', Cesar 45+1', Gomez 82')
Niger: Lawali, Idrissa, Mossi, Moussa, Namata, Laba (Amoustapha 77'), Sofiane, Arzakou, Tinni (Galissoune 61'), Marou, Abdourahmane.
Spain: Fernández, More, Miranda, Guillamón, Víctor, Antonio Blanco (Garcia 70'), Moha, César (Alonso 79'), Torres, Ruiz (Diaz 84'), Gómez.