FIFA U-17 World Cup (Day 4) : Akinola’s goal gives Americans a win and African champions Mali cruise through against Turkey

Ghana Vs. USA :-

Both teams began the game on a cautious note as they tried to study each other in the first 3 minutes but it was Ghana who made an early attempt at goal when Mohammed Aminu tried to lash onto a cross from Sadiq Ibrahim.

Ghana nearly conceded in the 13th minute when USA captain Josh Sargent sent in a teasing cross which failed to get a connection from his teammates as the Ghana defense cleared their lines.

Goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim came to the rescue of Ghana in the 16th minute when he saved Josh Sargent’s header on the line after a well-delivered cross from Chris Durkin. Mohammed Aminu tried an auditions effort which went flying in the 20thminute.

Blaine Ferri missed the post narrowly with a well-taken free kick in the 22nd minute as USA kept the pressure on Ghana. John Hackworth’s boys looked to have taken control of the game with lots of possession. The Black Starlets finally got themselves out under pressure but for a disappointing cross from left-back Rashid Alhassan who had made an excellent run in the flanks.

Captain Eric Ayiah having worked hard to beat USA goalkeeper Justin Garces after beating an offside trap failed to get his final ball at the back of the net as he slipped in his effort to finish up with a cool tap in. Josh Sargent in the 44th minute set up Blaine Ferri whose effort missed the post narrowly as both teams went into the break with a goalless stalemate.

Ghana started the second half on a perfect note and nearly got the opening goal after Sadiq Ibrahim’s effort was blocked on the line.

Emmanuel Toku missed a big chance for Ghana in the 52nd minute after he shot wide from a very advantageous position.

US Coach John Hackworth pulled off Tim Weah who had been disappointing for Ayo Akinola. Sergino Dest also made way for Akil Watts.

Substitute Ayo Akinola finally broke the deadlock for USA in the 75th minute after shooting past goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim who got his way past Rashid Alhassan in the penalty box.

Ibrahim Sulley came on to replace Emmanuel Toku with 10 minutes remaining.

Ghana had to finish the game with 10 men after defender Abdul Yusif picked up a head injury failing to continue the game. Goal scorer Akinola failed to get his second after shooting over the bar. Eric Ayiah once again failed to get a touch on Sadiq Ibrahim’s cross as chance went begging.

Ghana will now have to pick a win against host India in the final group game on Thursday.

Turkey Vs. Mali :-

Mali produced a heroic comeback in their last game against Paraguay, but ended up on the losing side as Paraguay were able to find a winner eventually. However, it was not be this time as the Mali youngsters produced a display of scintillating football and brushed apart their Turkish rivals to register a 3-0 win. Mali dominated the first half but had to wait until the 38th minute to open the scoring when Djemoussa Traore slotted past the goalkeeper.

Turkey were never able to control proceedings under the persistent drizzle and Mali made it 2-0 in the 68th minute when star striker Lassana N’Diaye scored to give his side a two goal cushion. Defender Fode Konate then scored in the 86th minute to put the game beyond Turkey’s reach.Turkey only have one point from their two games while Mali kept their last 16 hopes alive with this win.

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