GOA: African champions Mali rout Asian champions Iraq 5-1 in a pre-quarterfinal clash of the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 at the PJLN Stadium in Goa on Tuesday.
Mali that dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead through Hadji Drame in the 25th minute. Good work by Salam Jiddou on the left allowed the unmarked Drame to score the 2,000th goal in tournament history.
The Malians then doubled their advantage shortly after the half-hour mark, as Lassana N’Diaye made it four goals in as many matches when he headed home Djemoussa Traore’s cross at the near post.
Mali scored an emphatic third goal through Fode Konate in the second half. His powerful first-time strike from wide on the right flew past Iraq goalkeeper Ali Ibadi and into the roof of the net.
The Asian side would get a consolation through Ali Kareem before Mali added two late goals through Seme Camara and a second strike from N’Diaye to seal a comfortable win in Goa.
Africa is now guaranteed a semi-final place at the FIFA U-17 World Cup as Mali set up a quarter-final clash on Saturday with the winner of Wednesday’s clash between Ghana and Niger.