Sunday, Oct 22, 2017 | Last Update : 08:48 PM IST

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Mata strike helps NZ hold Turkey

THE ASIAN AGE. | IRFAN HAJI
Published : Oct 7, 2017, 2:19 am IST
Updated : Oct 7, 2017, 2:20 am IST

Turkey found momentum again towards the end, but the finish was well off target.

The first half had all the thrills as it provided four goals. Paraguay went ahead when Galeano came up with thundering finish on a volley outside the box in the 12th minute giving Mali custodian Koita no chance to react.
 The first half had all the thrills as it provided four goals. Paraguay went ahead when Galeano came up with thundering finish on a volley outside the box in the 12th minute giving Mali custodian Koita no chance to react.

Mumbai: Ahmed Kutucu scored the tournament’s first goal, but Turkey could only manage a 1-1 draw against gritty New Zealand in the opening game of the U-17 World Cup at the DY Patil Stadium here on Friday. Kiwi skipper Max Mata scored the equaliser.

Both scorers received yellow cards and Mata also received second booking in injury time. It didn’t affect New Zealand as the final whistle blew seconds later but he will miss the next game against Paraguay.

Turkey displayed their speed and skill early. Defender Melih Gokcimen found the upright from a narrow angle and mid-fielder Atalay Babacan’s attempt went over. New Zealand were in no mood to hold back as Elijah Just’s cross for Kingsley Sinclair after a swift move was put just wide.

Kutucu gave Turkey lead in the 18th minute with a diving header to find the far corner after Kerem Kesgin took a flag kick. Turkey were better in the first half but New Zealand kept pressing for an equaliser. They got a couple of chances before the break but a close header from Charles Spragg went over. On the counter Kutucu had another chance but his powerful attempt was straight at goalkeeper Jacob Clark.

New Zealand put up a much better show in the second half and they finally found the equaliser in the 58th minute with a hastily taken free-kick by Just which was slotted in by Mata to catch Turkey napping. Turkey made couple of changes but New Zealand forwards kept testing their defense. Spragg had a chance but his attempt was just over in the 74th minute.

Turkey found momentum again towards the end, but the finish was well off target.

Paraguay edge Mali in thriller
Later, Paraguay came out triumphant 3-2 in a fast-paced thriller against last edition runners-up Mali. Antonio Galeano opened the floodgates while Leonardo Sanchez and Alan Rodriguez also scored for the South Americans. For African champions Mali, Hadji Drame and Lassana Ndiaye were on target.

The first half had all the thrills as it provided four goals. Paraguay went ahead when Galeano came up with thundering finish on a volley outside the box in the 12th minute giving Mali custodian Koita no chance to react. Koita had earlier blocked out Julio Baez free-kick only to find Galeano in the way.

Sanchez made up for early misses by doubling the lead in the 17th minute.

Tags: fifa u-17 world cup, ahmed kutucu