By Abhishek Shukla
NAVI MUMBAI: New Zealand and Turkey opened their FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 campaigns with a hard fought 1-1 draw in Group B on a steamy evening in Navi Mumbai.
Turkey started the proceedings of the historic match in India. Turkey started first attack in minute itself with Ahmed Kutucu placing the ball on side of the nets. New Zealand spot its first real chance in 10th minute when Capatan Max Mata passed the ball to Eliajah Just inside Turkish box, who in turn passed to well placed Kingsley Sinclair who mistimed the shot at the end.
Turkish FC Schalke 04’s forward, Ahmed Kutucu gave Turkey the lead in 19th minute with his header from the corner. Ahmed saw the first yellow card of the match, when he tackled New Zealand defender in 24th minute of the play.
New Zealand had a few chances during first half of the match but they failed to execute properly.
Ahmed again created a good chance of goal but he directly hit at New Zealand’s goal keeper, who received the ball quite comfortably.
At half time Turkey were leading with 1 goal.
Unmarked Turkish captain had the first shot on goal in 52nd minute of play but was blocked by Jacob Clark at the end.
New Zealand captain Max Mata scored for his side in 58th minute, most of the Turkish player was not ready but a cheeky and quick free kick by All Whites. As we are accustomed in this match after scoring Goal players get the Yellow card, same happened for Mata as well, shown yellow card in 61 minute.
Second half belongs to New Zealand as they played well and with good passes. Elijah Just had a chance in last 10 minutes but his shot hit the post. Kerem Kesgin of Turkey had a long ranger in 84th minute but Jacob Clark received the ball and held it tight near the post.
Last minute second yellow for New Zeland Captain Max Mata for foul play saw him off the field, but it didn’t change the result of the match.
Turkey U17: Berke Ozer, Emirhan Civelek, Melih Gokcimen, Sahan Akyuz, Ozan Kabak, Sefa Akgun, Ahmed Kutucu, Kerem Kesgin, Malik Karaahmet, Atalay Babacan, Recep Gul (C)
New Zealand U17: Jacob Clark, Liberato Cacace, Bovd Curry, Leon Van Den Hoven, Elijah Just, Max Mata (C), Matthew Conroy, Kingsley Sinclair, Ben Deeley, Charles Spragg, Emlyn Wellsmore