India's maiden FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign ended with agony as the hosts were thrashed by two-time champions Ghana by four goals in their final group match on Thursday. India could only manage to score one goal in the entire tournament while conceding nine to finish at the bottom of the table.
Indian team coach Luis Norton de Matos made four changes to the team that lost 1-2 to Colombia as Jitendra Singh, Suresh Wangjam, Aniket Jadhav, and Nongdamba Naorem replaced Namit Deshpande, Abhijit Sarkar, Rahim Ali and Ninthoinganba Meetei in the starting XI.
For the first 20 minutes of the match, Ghana kept the Indian attackers at bay and didn't allow the opponents to create any sort of chances. The African nation slowly picked up the pace as Edward Arko-Mensah tried to catch Dheeraj Singh out with his long ranger efforts. The pressure generated in India helped Ghana bigtime as the visitors scored their first goal of the evening in the 43rd minute as Sadiq Ibrahim cross was saved by the Indian shotstopper but Eric Ayaiah was at hand for a simple tap in.
Ghana scored their second goal after half-time when Arko-Mensah ran free on the left-wing and cut it back for Ayiah, whose shot arrowed into the bottom-right corner of Dheeraj’s goal. India's hopes of making a comeback came down crashing when Ghana substitute Richard Danso scored the third goal, running onto a through ball and effortlessly making it past the Indian post from the left side of the box.
Another substitute Emmanuel Toku added the fourth and final goal for Ghana to hand the Indian team their third consecutive loss in the tournament. Ghana and Colombia qualify for the knockouts while the USA have chances to progress as one of the lucky third-placed teams.
Otamendi or Adam Smith? Who will make more tackles?
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