Mali players celebrates during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ghana and Mali at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 28 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 19:34
Mali thumped Iraq 5-1 in the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup Last 16 match at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, India on Tuesday.
As a result, Junior Eagles of Mali advance to the quarter-finals, while Iraq's Junior Lions of Mesopotamia bow of the tournament.
The Junior Eagles started brightly and they nearly grabbed an early goal through Mohamed Camara nine minutes into the match.
Iraq goalkeeper Ali Ibadi Jabbar was alert and he produced a fine save to deny the Mali midfielder, who had unleashed a right-footed shot.
However, Mali continued to launch attacks against Junior Lions of Mesopotamia and the Africans managed to beat Jabbar in the 25th minute.
Hadji Drame scored with a right footed shot - making it 1-0 to Mali with Salam Jiddou grabbing a well deserved assist.
The momentum was with the Junior Eagles and they double their lead three minutes after the half-hour mark.
This time it was Lassana N'Diaye, who scored with a header to make it 2-0 to Mali from Djemoussa Traore's cross.
Boubacar Haidara then set-up Drame and the latter placed his effort inches wide of the target five minutes before half-time.
Mali were deservedly leading 2-0 at the interval thanks to two goals from promising youngsters Drame and N'Diaye.
Youssouf Koita, the Mali keeper, was called into action five minutes after the restart as the Junior Lions of Mesopotamia looked to level matters.
The shot-stopper pulled off a decent save to deny Mohammed Ridha, who had tried to hit the back of the net with a right-footed shot.
Muntadher Mohammed was introduced in the 65th minute and he tried to make an immediate impact a minute later.
However, Koita produced a good save to deny the Iraq attacker, who had tried to score with a long-range shot .
With 17 minutes left on the clock, the Junior Eagles extended their lead after Drame set-up Fode Konate, who scored to make it 3-0 to Mali.
Ali Kareem managed to grab a late consolation goal in the 85th minute after beating Koita with a right-footed effort.
Mali, who were the 2015 U17 World Cup runners-up, then grabbed two late goals through Seme Camara and N'Diaye.
The match ended 5-1 in favour of Mali and they will take on either Ghana or Niger in the quarter-finals this weekend.
Mali (2) 5 (Drame 25', N'Diaye 33' 90 +4', Konate 73', S.Camara 87').
Iraq (0) 1 (Kareem 85')
Mali XI: Koita, Konate, Kane, Diaby, Haidara, Samake, Traore (S.Camara 82'), Giddou (Doucoure 69'), Camara (Sidibe 80'), N'Diaye, Drame.
Iraq XI: A.Jabbar, M.Jabbar, Abdulsada (Raad 46'), Abdulabbas, Albaqer, Ridha (Muntadher 65'), Shakir, Ali, Kareem, Kareem (Khalid 90'), Adn