Thursday, 22 August, 2019


U-17 W/Cup Mali Ready For Spain In Semi Finals

Man City youngster Phil Foden has a big career ahead of him according to Guardiola Man City youngster Phil Foden has a big career ahead of him according to Guardiola
Noah Ferguson | 25 October, 2017, 14:56

Spain eased their way into the semi-final of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup India 2017 after defeating Iran 3-1 in Kochi on Sunday.

La Rojas had a convincing 3-1 win against Iran in the quarter-finals while African giants Mali had a struggling win against Ghana in a controversial match in Guwahati. What makes this clash all the more interesting is that both sides still haven't bagged the coveted crown.

The teams play in contrasting styles with Mali having tall powerful players who love to attack with long balls and Spain relying on short passing.

"There's no pressure on us. When we came for the tournament we thought about getting out of the pool and now we are not just thinking about the final", said the Young Eagles tactician.

"We do know this venue very well since we've played here earlier".

Mali skipper Mohamed Camara will sit out the semifinal due to consecutive yellow card bookings, while Spain's Antonio Blanco and Jose Lara face a tricky situation in the semifinal as they have a yellow card from the quarterfinals. Spain's opening loss to Brazil was a good wake up call for the tiki-taka boys, who sealed their passage to the semis with a 3-1 win over Iran in the quarters. We know that we can not play a counter-attacking game against them, but we need to play our same game.

" We Want to go step by step not thinking about the final. We can not counter attack that", Denia added.

But he did concede that Mali has a slight advantage since it's used to similar temperatures. "We are playing with a team of 21, so we have enough members and we can replace him with the same talent as the captain".

Mali coach Komla knows his side is amongst the favourites to win the tournament, but insists they are not thinking further ahead than the next match. While Spain's loss to Brazil did help them regroup, Komla's mantra is simple. "We are on track with our objective".

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