By Eric Yaw Donkoh
Paraguay stunned Mali 3-2 in their opening group B match of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup at the Dr. DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, India on Friday, October 06.
The Paraguayans capitalized on a lazy defensive display by the Malians to take the lead in the 11th minute through Antonio Galeano’s shot from outside the box.
Leonardo Sanchez extended the lead for the South Americans in the 16th minute as he whipped in a diagonal shot to beat goalkeeper Koita after beating two defenders in the eighteen yard box.
Hadji Drame pulled one back for the African champions [Mali] in the 19th minute with Salam providing the assist.
Mali continued to fight hard and nearly got pulled parity in the 30th minute, but Lassana N’Diaye goal bound shot hit the cross bar. The silky forward, however, had it right in the 33rd minute as he dunked in beautifully from a tight angle to level the score.
Paraguay was on the score sheet again in the 54th minute through Alan Rodriguez spot kick. Mali fought till the end but could not break the well marshaled Paraguay defensive wall.
The other group B match between Turkey and New Zealand ended 1-1.
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