FIFA U17 World Cup: Paraguay 3-2 Mali

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Paraguay 3-2 Mali, Paraguay grabbed all three points as they downed Mali in their Group B opener of the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup at the rainy DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

The fixture between The Eagles and La Albirroja kicked off with the former side lining up in an orthodox 4-3-3 shape while the South American team opted for a 4-2-4 formation.

Paraguay put their best foot forward from the first minute as they got the better of Mali’s defensive forces. The South Americans didn’t take too long to open their goal tally with the opener coming as early as in the 12th minute. It was number 7 Antonio Galeano who scored a volley to put Paraguay in the lead.

Just five minutes following this, Paraguay doubled their scoreline as Leonardo Sanchez’s right-footed low shot stormed into the net. However, their two goal cushion didn’t lost too long as Mali bounced back in tremendous fashion. A 20thminute stunner from Hadji Drame spiced things up again as Jonas Komla’s side now trailed just by one goal.

Mali’s Lassana Ndiaye came close to scoring the second goal for his side in the 29th minute but his flying attempt hit the woodwork. However, he succeeded just three minutes later as he sent the ball home to level up the score around the half-hour mark.

The two teams put on quite a first half show in Navi Mumbai with four goals scored in a 22 minutes stretch. The second half saw the third goal from Paraguay within just ten minutes of its commencement. A penalty kick awarded to Los Guaramies led to Alan Rodriguez finding the back of the net successfully.

The team from Mali, on several occasions, came close to finding the much needed equalizer however a competitive Paraguayan contingent made sure to deny them of any goal.

At the end of the first round, Paraguay find themselves sitting on top of Group B with 3 points followed by Turkey(1point), New Zealand(1 point) and Mali(0 points).