COLOMBIA, USA IN U-17 WORLD CUP 2ND ROUND
Ghana advance as India end on poor note

AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 12th Oct: Ghana rode on a brace by skipper Eric Ayiah to enter the knockout stages with a 4-0 win over India in their Group A match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here on Thursday.

Eric (43rd, 52nd minutes) struck on either side of the break as Ghana finished the group stage with six points from three matches.

Richard Danso (86th) and Emmanuel Toku (87th) scored in quick succession towards the end.

India ended their maiden appearance at a football World Cup in any age group without opening their account and only one goal to show for their efforts.

Ghana dominated right from the start and took the lead when their captain Eric Ayiah made a superb run from his own half before scoring off the rebound when Indian goalkeeper Dheeraj Moirangthem blocked a pass from Sadiq Ibrahim.

That goal was preceded by a lengthy period of tough, stubborn defending by the Indians.

The Indian players however, ran out of ideas in the final third.

They showed a distinct lack of composure when in possession and committed a lot of miss passes and errors as a result, losing the ball easily. Lack of combination and poor awareness upfront repeatedly saw Indian players in possession but with no teammates in good positions to pass to.

Their job was made even tougher by a well organised Ghana defence which allowed them very little time and space. The Africans, on the other hand, showcased excellent skills, tactical awareness and athletic ability.

Ghana right winger Sadiq Ibrahim was a constant threat down the flanks with his speed and accurate balls into the Indian penalty box. Rashid Alhassan was also excellent on the left wing and Ghana captain Eric Ayiah in the centre had a constant stream of good passes and crosses as he used his superb technique and dribbling skills to trouble the Indian defence.

Only some desperate defending by the hosts prevented them from conceding more goals. Central defenders Anwar Ali and Jitendra Singh put in a tireless performance for India.

But that could not prevent Eric from scoring his second goal. An excellent run saw the Ghana captain in acres of time and space at the edge of the hosts' penalty box as he met a pinpoint pass from Edmund Arko-Mensah with a superb finish. The hosts virtually gifted away the third goal when Anwar easily lost the ball to Danso who made a speedy run before finishing past Dheeraj.
Tiku scored another soft goal a minute later as the Indians had a disappointing end to their World Cup campaign.

Meanwhile, Colombia outplayed the United States 3-1 in a Group A match to qualify for the knockout stages of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup at the DY Patil Stadium.

With this result, Colombia, the United States, with six points each, made it to the second round and Ghana, who thrashed India 4-0 in Delhi, are also through to the second round. For Colombia, striker Juan Vidal opened the scoring in the third minute. George Acosta of the US then equalised in the 24th minute before Juan Penaloza gave Colombia the upper hand after the half time.

nd in the 87th minute, Deiber Caicedo dug the final nail. It was a perfect start for Colombia as striker Vidal scored in the third minute to provide a crucial lead. But soon, George Acosta equalised. Carleton got on the end of the throw and he cleared the man on the right and gave the ball to Acosta, who slammed it into the net to make it 1-1.

After that, both the teams tried hard to get one but failed to do so and as a result the United States and Colombia went to half time with 1-1. The second half started with both teams attacking each other. But it was Colombia which proved superior as Juan Penaloza, who scored a brace against India in the last match, found the back of the net in the 67th minute through a free-kick to make it 2-1.

With the pressure mounting on the United States, the Americans failed to rise to the occasion. They got several chances but could not make them count. Colombia's Caicedo then sealed the game for his country through a brilliant goal in the last few minutes of the game to hand the Americans their first loss in the group stage.

 


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