U-17 World Cup wrap: USA loses but advances, Paraguay and Mali clinch

Associated Press
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The first two groups are set at the U-17 World Cup as Mali, Paraguay, Ghana, and Colombia have all move on with victories, while the United States lost but still clinches one of the knockout spots.

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A recap of the day below.


Group A

United States 1-3 Colombia

The U.S. squad fell to Colombia 3-1, bumping them to third place in Group A, but they hold enough points to have already secured one of the four spots given to third-place finishers in the group stage.

George Acosta’s 24th minute goal cancelled out a nightmare start for the U.S. back line as Colombia had opened the scoring in just the third minute on a long throw, but the Stars & Stripes couldn’t hold on for long. Colombia’s Juan Penaloza scored just past the hour mark on a free-kick to re-take the lead, while Deiber Caicedo scored with three minutes to go in the match to put the icing on the cake.

The United States could simply tip their cap to their South American opponents, who were high-quality on the day in Navi Mumbai.

Ghana 4-0 India

Elsewhere, Ghana smothered hosts India 4-0 to clinch the top spot in a cannibalistic Group A, leaving the top three teams (Ghana, Colombia, and the United States) all level on three points. Ghana secured the top spot with their +6 goal differential, while Colombia and the U.S. were separated not by goal differential but on head-to-head matchup, leaving the USA in third.

Group B

Turkey 1-3 Paraguay

Paraguay rolled to a perfect record in Group B play as they stuffed Turkey 3-1 on goals from Giovanni Bogado, Fernando Cardozo, and Antonio Galeano, all within a 20-minute span bracketing halftime. The day was only marred by a stoppage-time goal by Kerem Kesgin to ruin the clean sheet. Paraguay tops Group B with nine points in three matches, holding a +5 goal differential.

Mali 3-1 New Zealand

Mali smothered New Zealand 3-1 thanks to a trio of goals from Giddou Salam, Djemoussa Traore, and Lassana Ndiaye. Neither New Zealand or Paraguay have a shot at advancing via the third-place finish, as both were marred on just a single point.