Mali, Paraguay seal knock-out spots

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

Runners-up in the previous edition, Mali defeated New Zealand 3-1 in a Group B match to secure their spot in the Round of 16 at the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup here on Thursday.

They soon doubled their lead within two minutes as Fernando Cardozo clipped in a pass from Blas Armoa.

But Paraguay captain Alexis Duarte endured the worst nightmare of his fledgeling career when the defender conceded two own goals in the 20th and 34th minutes.

Despite 2-1 cushion, the South Americans were in no mood to sit back and Caicedo scored in the 87th minute on a low cross from the left by Penaloza to seal the match and knockout berth.

It was all but over for the men in red who were staring at yet another embarrassing defeat and bow out of the tournament with just 1 point.

It hadn't begun well for the side, though, as it squandered a penalty kick in the second minute, the culprit being its hero in the last match - Anibal Vega. But that made little difference as Turkey's goalkeeper Ozer was foxed appropriately - including a curling free-kick for the first goal - for a comprehensive victory. The left winger ran down the flank and kept a ideal ball for Cardozo who calmly found the back of the net.

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

Bogado took a corner which was blocked by Turkey's defence, and Galeano shot outside the box, which deflected off Melih Gokcimen and went to the bottom right corner of the goal, as their keeper stood on his spot. "We created chances, we found possession, but we did not find luck", a dejected Hacioglu said, wearing an embarrassing smile as his campaign at the Under - 17 World Cup had come to an end. "We were lacking physically".

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