FIFA U-17 W/Cup: Mali Rally To Beat Ecuador
West Africa neighbours Mali recovered from the scoreless draw against Belgium in their opening game of the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup to secure a deserved 2-1 win over Ecuador in the early hours of Thursday.
Mali scored early in each half of the game, while Ecuador pulled one back in the 70th minute, as the game ended in favour of the Malians at regulation time. The Africans opened brightly but only had an early goal to show for their supremacy. Ironically then, it was a dose of bad luck for Ecuador that brought about the breakthrough as Carlos Pena’s blocked clearance fell at the feet of Boubacar Traore who scored from close range.
There were further notable openings for Mali’s Sidiki Maiga and Traore, but both were blocked by busy goalkeeper Jose Cevallos.
Without doubt the most spectacular moment of the match came as Sekou Koita left fly from distance with what could only be described as a James Rodriguez-esque volley, however, unlike the Colombian’s famed goal, this effort bounced back off the post.
The Malians doubled the advantage just past the hour mark, when Aly Malle took full toll following a long pass from team captain, Abdoul Dante. However, Pervis Estupinan pulled a goal back from the penalty spot with 20 minutes remaining, after Anderson Naula was fouled.
The win sees Mali join Belgium at the summit of Group D on four points, a point clear of Ecuador.