Mali beat Ghana to reach U-17 World Cup semi-final

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Despite Mali beating Ghana 2-1, the game itself was in doubt as one of the teams objected to playing in such circumstances but after the match officials inspected the field and made sure that the ball passed the minimum rolling criteria according to FIFA Standards and the field markings were properly visible, they chose to go ahead and start the game.

The match which Ghana lost 1-2 was played under incessant rain which rendered the pitch at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium very hard for the players.

The heavy underfoot conditions caught Ghana on the wrong foot.

Camara scored the winning goal for Mali in the 73rd minute of the game to take them to the Semi-final.

Mali turned the heat early on in the wet and windy conditions as Mohammed Idriss' cross found no takers inside the box with N'Diaye running forward.

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India's first win, in 2003, came at Pakistan's expense in the final and then again in both countries' last pool match in 2017. The second quarter saw both the teams battle it out in the midfield as they looked to establish their authority in the match.

Drame did make amends by scoring the opener less than ten minutes later, but it was the uneven pitch which played a part as a mispass was picked up by the talented Salam Jiddou. The drainage system of the field is also of superior quality compared to other stadiums in the country and yesterday's sloppy nature of the field occurred due to constant rainfall for the past 40 hours, something which has subsided today. In another unusual occurrence, creator-in-chief Sadiq Ibrahim was left on the bench despite being eligible to play from the start after serving out his one-match suspension.

The side were nearly successful to score the equalizer too just before half-time when Ibrahim Sulley made a nice finish from a good attack a few minutes before the lemon break. Mali, however, dominated the majority of passages of play, and took the lead on 15 minutes. However, by then Mali had added another goal.

Traore's long-range shot went in following a mistake from Ghana's 14-year-old goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim in the 61st minute. Even though Danlad got his palms to the ball, the ball slid in, signalling the end of their campaign.

The Mali players and support staff broke into wild celebrations at the final whistle following their hat-trick of wins in re-cent past over Ghana.

The last twenty minutes looked anything but a quarter-final of a FIFA tournament-the pitch looked at its ugliest ever since competitive football has been played on it. "I thought the game should have been abandoned and played in another time but those who were organizing the game they said the game should be played, so we played".

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