Blue Tigers

FIFA U17 World Cup: India ends their first ever appearance with pride, Ghana through to the knock-outs

[caption id="attachment_56295" align="aligncenter" width="580"]India played their last game of FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 |Image: XtraTime India played their last game of FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 |Image: XtraTime[/caption]

Suman Chakravorty & Sabyasachi Bagchi, New Delhi: India finished their first ever FIFA World Cup experience with a lot of pride as two times champions Ghana registered a commanding 4-0 victory to go through to the knock-outs as group champions.

India started the game with a lot of confidence and determination but it was Ghana who seemed to be a dominant force right from the outset. India though looked positive at least during the first 20 minutes of the first half. The absence of India's no.1 play-maker Komal Thatal was clearly vivid as India was striving for a quality final ball on the upfront.

Ghana started to control the game by putting incessant pressure on the Indian defensive half. Powerful long range attempts, free-flowing attacking football, using the flanks to a good effect - The Super Eagles were doing everything to break the Indian defence.

The Indian defenders though had other ideas and it needed 43 minutes for the African powerhouse to break the deadlock. A fine run from the left by Ibrahim was followed by a crisp shot and was brilliantly stopped by Dheeraj, but Eric Ayiah was larking in front of the goal-mouth and made no mistake to blast the rebound at the back of the net. But it was only a solitary goal which separated the two sides in the first half.

India resumed the second half with an even more defensive mindset as The Ghanaians took full toll of that. It needed just seven minutes in the second half for the two times' champions to double their lead. It was the same man, Eric Ayiah, who scored his second with a precision finish to make it 2-0 for the African superpower.

India coach Luis Norton de Matos brought on young Rahim Ali later in the second half to strengthen his attacking force. But again, the lack of creativity made the work tougher for the home team. Ghana made it 3-0 in their favour in the 86th minute on the counter attack as Mohammed Kudus gave the Indian goalkeeper no chance to save it. The defence though played a gem of a game despite such pressure by Ghana.

This win confirms the berth of the African nation in the knock-outs as the group champions from Group A and Colombia finishes above The USA as the group runners. But India to leave the stage of their first ever FIFA World Cup experience with their heads held high.

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