Mali, England display awesome performance to secure semi-final berth

In hard weather conditions at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, both teams struggled through and attempted to play the football that has brought them so much success so far in the tournament.

Mali dominated the creative zone, where Salam Jiddou was able to find his colleagues upfront with regular assists.

Mali came close to finding the target but Hadji Drames right footer from inside the box missed the right post by some margin in the sixth minute. He was brought on in the 55 minute but by then it was too late as Mali had mentally drained Ghana with their tactics.

Tactically, the Eagles have proved to be supperior as was manifested when they beat Iraq 5-1 at the round of 16 stage, with some skillful players, including, Fode Konatey, Hadji Drame, Seme Camara and Lassana N'diame, who are ready to outshine Ghana's Emmanuel Tolcu, Ibrahim Sulley, Gabriel Leveh and skipper Eric Ayiah today. They had accounted for the weather and had also played friendly matches in wet conditions in Ethiopia before travelling to India. However, experience, a word that is a paradox given the nature of this youth tournament, became the undoing of Ghana as Mali waddled through hard conditions to become the first side to register a spot in the final four of the competition.

"We did everything right, we scored a ideal goal and it was disallowed". The Eaglet has made five appearances in major Federation Internationale de Football Association tournaments, but has scored three goals despite his wide starting position.

Seeing Ibrahim out of position, Traore aimed a long chip into the open goal. On Saturday, rain Gods welcomed them with completely foreign conditions for the first time in the tournament.

Kudus scored for Ghana off a 70th-minute penalty. "If the goal had stood we would have got a positive result", the Ghana coach said.

Drame put the Malian team ahead 1-0 in the 15th minute of the game, while Ghana equalised through a penalty in the 70th minute of the game.

  • Kyle Peterson