Football – Fifa Under 17 World Cup/India
7th October, 2017 – 10:21 a.m.
Two-time champions Ghana edged past Colombia 1-0 in their opening match in Group A of the Under-17 World Cup in India, as Mali opened their Group B account with a 3-2 defeat to Paraguay.
Sadiq Ibrahim scored the winner for Ghana six minutes before half-time in the hard-earned victory for the Black Starlets.
He converted from close range after a cross from the left by captain Eric Ayiah, who wasted a chance of his own in the second half.
Colombia’s best chances fell to Leandro Campaz and substitute Deiber Caicedo.
USA are top of Group A – above Ghana on goal difference – after a 3-0 win over hosts India.
Ghana’s next match is on Monday against USA when Colombia will take on India.
African champions Mali narrowly lost to Paraguay in Mumbai with Alan Rodriguez converting a penalty ten minutes into the second half to give the South Americans a 3-2 victory.
In an eventful first half, Antonio Galeano had put Paraguay 1-0 up in the 12th minute after his long range shot flew into the net.
Their leading goal scorer in the qualifiers, Leonardo Sanchez, doubled Paraguay’s lead five minutes later.
Mali’s efforts to get back into the game paid off in the 20th minute when Hadj Drame found space in the box to blast home after receiving a pass from Salam Giddou.
The Malians continued to pressurise Paraguay and got their equaliser nine minutes before the break.
Lassana Ndiaye, who had earlier hit the post, went past the advancing Paraguay goalkeeper Diego Huesca after he was put through by Roberto Fernandez to make it 2-2.
Sanchez could have restored Paraguay’s lead and got his brace before half-time, but was denied by Mali goalkeeper Youssouf Koita.
The second half was also full of chances with Paraguay being awarded the decisive penalty after Malian defender Abdoulaye Diaby handled the ball in the box.
Rodriguez stepped up and scored to put Paraguay top of group B after the first round of matches.
New Zealand and Turkey drew 1-1 in the other Group B match.
Mali are bottom of the group.