Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 15:44
Mali scored through Hadji Drame and Djemmoussa Traore to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the 2017 U17 FIFA World Cup on Saturday after beating Ghana 2-1 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati in India.
The Black Starlets found the back of the net courtesy of Kudus Mohamed through a penalty.
The 12th minute saw the Malian defence failing to clear a dangerous ball in the box and the rebound fell to Eric Ayiah whose shot narrowly missed the target.
Three minutes later, the Les Aigles managed to break the deadlock through Drame. A through ball for the forward penetrated the Ghanaian defence before unleashing a powerful shot on the near post, 1-0.
The 30th minute saw coach Paa Kwesi Appiah's troops trying to break the stubborn Malian defence, but they were not clinical upfront.
With five minutes to the half, Ghana thought they have found the back of the net when Ibrahim Sulley beat goalkeeper Youssouf Koita on his near post, but the referee called for a foul on a Malian defender.
It was 1-0 at the interval in favour of Jonas Komla's men.
Fresh from the tunnel, Ghana upped their ante as they probed for an equaliser, but they failed to trouble the solid Malian defence.
The Les Aigles doubled their lead through Djemmoussa Traore after a silly error by the keeper. Danlad Ibrahim making it 2-0 on the hour mark.
The Black Starlets received a penalty after a foul in the box by defender, Fode Konate allowing Mohamed to convert from the spot in the 70th minute, 2-1.
It was end to end stuff in the final 15 minutes, but both sides struggled in the rainy conditions and fired blanks in the final third.
The dying stages of the encounter produced no clear cut opportunities in front of goal as Mali cruised into the semis whilst Ghana crashed out of the tournament.
Ghana: (0) 1 (Konate 70')
Mali: (1) 2 (Drame 15', Traore 61')
Mali: Koita, Haidara, Traore, Konate, Camara, Drame (Camara 80'), Jiddou (Doucoure 75'), Diaby, Samake, Kane, Ndiaye
Ghana: Ibrahim, Yakubu, Ayiah, Sulley (Sadiq 55'), Mohamed, Tokou (E. Mohamed 74'), Yusuf, Leveh (Danso 62'), Mensah, Alhasan, Idriss