European champions Spain thump debutants Niger in champagne performance
Written by: FIFA
In the other game of the day Brazil outclassed North Korea to make it to the knockout stages.
After an opening loss to Brazil in their FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 campaign, Spain and starlet striker Abel Ruiz came to life against Niger in a 4-0 victory. The win moves La Rojita to three points alongside the Africans, who beat Korea DPR in their opener, with the European champions ahead on goal difference.
Although Spain took some time to settle into the match, they opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Ruiz took advantage of a ball-watching Niger defence to finish simply in front of goal. The Barcelona youngster might have added another shortly after when he sprung free from a nicely worked free-kick, but he lifted his effort over from close range.
Watch Spain 4-0 Niger Highlights
Ruiz’s double was completed soon after, however, with good movement off the ball and a quick reaction after his first shot was cut out from a corner kick in the 41st minute. Before the break, the Spaniards moved even further ahead after a free-flowing team move found Sergio Gomez loose on the left wing, and a flying Cesar Gelabert volleyed his cross into the roof of the net.
The second half almost entirely belonged to Spain, and they added their fourth through Gomez in the dying minutes. The scoreline could have been even more lopsided, if not for the acrobatics of Niger goalkeeper Khaled Lawali.
Goals from Lincoln and Paulinho lifted Brazil to a 2-0 victory over Korea DPR in Group D at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, a result that sees them secure a spot in the Round of 16 as at least one of the best third-place teams. As it stands after two matchdays, they lead Group D with six points, three ahead of both Spain and Niger,
The Brazilians were relatively frustrated by the Asians in their attacking ambitions, although they had their first clear chance as early as the first minute when Korean goalkeeper Sin Tae Song brilliantly denied Lincoln in a one-on-one situation.
The underdog Koreans settled into a defensive game plan after that and largely succeeded in keeping the game at a static pace in the first half. In the second period, Brazil started to come alive and it was Lincoln who was there to capitalise with a header from a deflected free kick after the Korea DPR goalkeeper rushed out of his goal.
Just after the hour mark Paulinho doubled the score after running onto a penetrating through ball and finishing with a slick touch to beat the stranded goalkeeper. Brazil goalkeeper Gabriel Brezao made sure the score stayed the same in the final minutes, denying a good attempt from Kim Porn Hyok.
Published: Wed Oct 11, 2017 01:31 AM IST