Mali trounce New Zealand 3-1

Leon van den Hoven of New Zealand and Lassana Ndiaye of Mali

Mali have qualified for the last sixteen stage of the U17 World Cup taking place in India, after beating New Zealand 3-1 in their last group game on Thursday.The game began promisingly for New Zealand, whose striker Mata was clean through on goal but the Malian goalkeeper was equal to the task and foiled his effort.

Kiwi substitute Charles Spragg pulled one back for his side after heading in a lovely cross from the left by Elijah Just in the 72nd minute to give New Zealand a lifeline heading into the last 15 minutes of the match.

New Zealand, however, have a very slim chance of making it to the knockouts, while Mali advance to Round-of-16 after finishing second in Group B.

The Eaglets didn't take time before launching attack on New Zealand goal, hitting the post twice in the first quarter.

Paraguay kept putting Turkey under pressure and it was in the 41st minute the South Americans broke the deadlock.

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"We were in a very, very tough group and were more than aware of that", he said after the match.

Mali struck straight after the interval when Djemoussa Traore added a goal to his earlier assist after he curled a attractive shot into the top right corner, leaving Zac Jones no chance in the New Zealand goal.

"We played against three very good sides and our attitude, application and the quality of football was at times I think better than it ever has been from a New Zealand under-17 side".

However, any hopes that the Oceania side had of a comeback ended ten minutes later, as Lassana N'Diaye scored his third goal of the tournament when he knocked home Fode Konate's searching low cross on the break to seal victory for the Chile 2015 runners-up.

"You can see the quality there, and they're going to go a long way because they're a very good side", he said.

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