Navi Mumbai: In a clash of two continental Champions, European U17 champions Spain defeated African champions Mali 3-1 in FIFA U=17 World Cup India 2017 semifinal match at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Spain started with brilliant attack in first minute itself and Mali’s custodian in gloves, Youssouf Koita had to pulls off a brilliant have to stop that shot going inside goal. Mali players too pulled up their game and played some interesting game in first 10 minutes with couple of shots on Spanish goalpost.
Spain got lead in 19th minute of the play as Captain Abel Ruiz scored from penalty shot after a Abdoulaye Diaby from Mali commits a foul inside the Box. Mali played some good game in middle of the field and had more number of Shots hitting the target and off target as well but failed to execute them; Whereas Spanish players played inelegantly during entire first half and got several scoring opportunities.
Abel Ruiz doubled the lead of Spain in 43rd minute with brilliant goal which was assisted by Cesar Gelabert from the left flank.
At half time Spain were leading 2-0 against Mali.
Second half started with Mali asserting pressure from the go, as Mali created couple of chances in first 5 minutes itself. Drame takes the first shot but it was not strong enough to produce any goal. Spain had chances in 48th minute as Captain Ruiz missed a goal scoring opportunity.
Mali scored a goal in 61st minute but it was not given goal by referee, as Doucoure takes a long range from outside the box, which in turn hits the crossbar and fall inside the Goal line but came ousted eventually and quickly, which in replay seems to be goal, but referee whistled, Play On. Mali Players and Staff protested after seeing reply on big screen, which ended with referee showing yellow card to couple of Mali support staff.
Spain scored third goal as Sergio Gomez’s coss nicely detected by Ferran Torresand his header went inside the goalpost in 71st minute. Mali’s top goal scorer in this world cup, Ndiaye scored his 6th goal of the tournament as he caught Spain’s defender Guillamon sleeping and easily defeated goalkeeper at the end to pull one back from Spain.
With just 10 minutes to 10, Mali geared up and Spain went too defensive as Ndiaye almost scored another goal in 83rd minute, but failed to grip the ball in last second. Throughout the second half Mali had more ball possession and had more goal scoring opportunities but they failed to make it to finals this year, as Spain is meeting up European rival, England in Finals at Salt lake stadium on 28th October 2017.