Costa Rica Vs. Guinea :-
The early exchanges saw little in terms of action at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, but that soon changed with two goals in four minutes, starting with Costa Rica taking the lead through a Yecxy Jarquin tap-in on 26 minutes.
The central American’s opener prompted a reply from Guinea, who finished the opening half as the stronger-looking side. They levelled matters on the half-hour mark through Fandje Toure’s second goal of the tournament.
Le Syli Cadet picked up where they left off after the break and created several chances to take the lead, but against the run of play, it was Los Ticos who restored their lead through a somewhat fortuitous Andres Gomez header on 67 minutes.
However, the Africans would not be denied and they equalised in the late stages, as Ibrahima Soumah powered home a fierce strike to earn Guinea a share of the spoils. It was the least they deserved for their efforts that included 42 attempts at the Costa Rican goal during the match.
Spain Vs. Niger :-
Spain made a few changes and lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Abel Ruiz leading the side while Niger was led by Karim Tinni in a 4-4-2 formation.
It was the Niger U17 side which enjoyed a fast start to the match, with key men Habibou Sofiane and Ibrahim Boubacar having dangerous attempts on goal. Much like the last match, it took Spain a couple of minutes to settle into their stride and soon they were knocking the ball around with confidence. Niger were finding it difficult to deal with the quick and sleek passing of the Spanish attack.
And Spain opened the scoring in the 21stminute after Juan Miranda ran down the left flank before crossing the ball to Abel Ruiz who tapped in to make it 1-0 for Spain. The goal gave Spain confidence and they continued their attacking flow. At the other end, Niger were trying to develop an attack of their own and that created spaces for Spain to pounce upon.
Spain scored their second goal just four minutes before the break when Abel Ruiz pounced upon the rebound on the free kick saved by goalie Khaled Lawali. The second goal was crucial as it gave La Rojita some breathing space and they tripled their lead just before the break to add further misery to Niger’s woes. Left winger Sergio Gomez found Cesar Gelabert who finished it in the top corner to make it 3-0 for Spain.
The second half started in a more or less similar fashion to the first half. The three-goal cushion had given Spain plenty of room to attack with poise and the morale of the side was sky high. Spain were running the show and in particular, Cesar Gelabert’s skills and composure on the ball was a joy to behold.
Unlike their last performance against Korea DPR, Niger couldn’t produce a moment of magic against a resolute Spanish side. Sergio Gomez, who was really influential down the left flank, put the game to bed when his beautifully placed shot from just outside the box made it 4-0 in the 82nd minute. Spain were really fluent in their passing and their buildups till the very end of the match.
Spain’s commanding win makes amends for their loss to Brazil and throws Group D wide open. It will be down to the last day of the group stages to determine the destiny of all the 4 teams in the group.