The Indian Colts fell to their heaviest defeat of the tournament against the Africans.
India fell to a disappointing 0-4 loss to Ghana in their final match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017. The clinical Ghana side adapted to the humid conditions really well and showcased an energetic display as they capitalized on some lapses of judgments from the young Colts and ousted the exhausted India in the second half.
India showed a lot of promise in this tournament which was a historic one for the country and players alike and the young Tigers should keep their heads held high for a promising showing. Ghana ended up as the winners of Group A after this win, with Colombia finishing in second place after defeating the USA in the other game. So Let’s have a look at the Player Ratings for the match.
Dheeraj Moirangthem (7/10)
Dheeraj Moirangthem was definitely one of the finds of the tournament for the Blue Tigers and he gave yet another fighting performance in front of goal for the Blues. Despite the score-line proving something else, Dheeraj was actually pretty decent on the day as he kept on making saves throughout the match to save his team from complete humiliation. He made a few especially stunning show and despite being injured in the first half, he fought his pain to finish the match. Was not helped by the lapse of judgment of his team-mates at all.
Boris Thangjam (7/10)
The right-back gave another fighting performance on the day and was definitely the brightest among the defenders on the day. Boris had a lot to deal with as Ghana had a terrific wing-back in Arko-Mensah and tried to penetrate through the left-back. But Boris would not be bullied by the Africans as he continuously put in hard-hitting tackles and won the ball numerous times for the Tigers. He also attacked really well, creating a chance in the second half as well for Rahul. Boris showed a lot of grit in his display and seems destined for the national team if he keeps this up.
Jitendra earned back his place in the starting Xi for the Colts but couldn’t really justify why he was brought back on the pitch. Jitendra did make some last-ditch efforts to clear the ball from danger and was doing all he could to contain Ayiah in the first half. Lost his stamina in the second half and couldn’t track up with Ayiah and Dasood as they put the ball into the back of the net, but he did put in a gritty display who tried his best to oust the Africans in a physical game.
Anwar Ali continued to prove himself as a defender to look out for in the near future with another gritty display in the match against the Black Stars. Ali wasn’t helped by Sanjeev Stalin who was struggling to contain the continuous attacks from the right-wing, but he did cover a lot of ground to put in challenges and clearing the danger for the young Colts. He had to do a lot of work in the first half and was badly fatigued in the second half, but did prove himself to be an intelligent defender with another decent display on the day.
The Bengaluru lad was having a torrid time on the left-flank as Ghana seemingly targeted his flank and launched almost every attack through that wing itself. Stalin did contain the attackers on his wing for quite some-time before he was beaten too easily by Sulley, who put in a shot which resulted in the opening goal. Stalin would run out of energy in the second half and would be targeted by that, as he having a difficult time containing Sulley and couldn’t do much about the third goal either. Stalin was quite poor on the day and didn’t finish the tournament as well as he’d like to.
India’s captain yet again sacrificed himself and played way too deep to help his defenders contain the constant attacks of the Black Starlets. Amarjit had to sit back as he let Jeakson and Suresh play a bit ahead of him, but couldn’t really conjure up any attack during the game. Did well to stop Ghana from attacking through the middle, but couldn’t do anything when they decided to pounce on the wings. Became frustrated and was booked for a bad challenge in the second half, after which he was taken off.
Suresh Wangjam won back his place in the starting line-up in the game against Ghana as he slotted right into midfield for the young Colts. He did well to create a strong midfield three with Amarjit and Jeakson and did not let Ghana expose the middle during the game. Made some crucial challenges and his passing was pretty decent as well, as he did his job in midfield as required. Was helpless to do anything about the goals as he couldn’t risk drifting to the wings to help them out.
Jeakson made history in the last game against Colombia when he scored the first ever goal for India in a FIFA competition, but he failed to give anything memorable against Ghana. Jeakson did have two midfielders by his side but couldn’t do anything in the middle of the park as he really struggled to keep up with Ghana. He couldn’t win the ball in the middle of the park and was couldn’t put enough pressure on the Ghanaian midfielders which let them take some long shots, as he failed to repeat his heroics of the last game.
Again being played in a rather unconventional position of a left-winger and a left-central midfielder, Rahul Kannoly was an absolute work-horse for the national team. Kannoly was heading up and down the field for the young Colts and did his defensive and offensive duties really well. He again had an opportunity in the second half and registered India’s first shot on target and his long-shot was pretty decent. He continued proving himself as a versatile player and will definitely be remembered for the better.
The pacy winger was given his first start in the tournament and proved why he should be given more with a rather encouraging performance in attack. While India didn’t really mount many attacks, Naorem was vital to whatever attacks they did mount. Delivered an inviting ball in the first minute as he looked really electric in India’s fast-paced beginning to the game. Was also doing his defensive duties really well and gave a decent performance before being substituted in the second half.
India’s #9 was given back his place to lead the line for the young Colts in this crucial game against Ghana, but couldn’t do anything at all to impress the fans. Jadhav looked lively in the first minutes and made some promising runs with the ball, but seemed to run out of steam after that point onwards. Jadhav wasn’t doing his defensive duties that well either as Ghana was over-running India in defense and couldn’t really capitalize on any rare chances created by the young Colts either. Was replaced by Rahim Ali in the second half.
Rahim Ali was brought in place of the captain Amarjit to give a boost to India’s attack and was the partner of Jadhav in the attack. But he couldn’t do anything in attack and didn’t track back that well to aid his midfielders either. Was pretty disappointing and didn’t even show the kind of impressive energy he did in the game against Colombia.
The tricky attacker was brought on to bring some sparkles into the game for India, but even he couldn’t do anything to break down the stubborn defense of Ghana. Meetei couldn’t threaten through the wings and was unable to put on any attacks in the final minutes when the fans were hoping for a goal from the hosts. Did not justify his substitution at all.
When India were in dire straights and in desperate need of a goal or two in the game, Lalengmawia was brought in to help the attack. But he did not repay his manager’s faith at all as he failed to create anything for the team and was terrible defensively as well. Lalengmawia was at fault in both the 3rd and 4th goals, as his terrible outing made the fans question why starlet Komal Thatal wasn’t given any minutes once again.
The goalkeeper of the Black Stars had a rather easy day at the office as he could only stand there and watch as his team dominated much of the possession. But the goalkeeper showed great awareness and reaction when he made some decent saves in the second half and did not let India get a sniff at getting back into the game. He especially made a decent save off Naorem’s long-range effort and held onto any oncoming ball really well.
Najeeb Yakubu put in a great effort for the visitors, showing great energy throughout the match. He was vital towards Ghana piling almost all their attacks through the right-hand side and provided great support to Sulley on the right-hand side as well. Yakubu distributed the ball really well and put in some stunning crosses from the right wing, which had Dheeraj scampering to trying to save them. Wasn’t tested that badly defensively, but was ready for the task whenever danger arose.
Ghana’s center-back was really solid at the back and even though he didn’t have to do much defensively, he was always available for the passing. His distribution to the wingers were really solid as he made some decisive passes from the back. He neutralized the threat of Aniket along with his partner Mensah superbly and made sure that he did not get any space whatsoever to threaten in the attack. He continued his work till the final whistle and kept a valuable clean-sheet for the Black Stars.
The powerful centre-back made things almost impossible for India to penetrate through the middle as he formed a terrific partnership with Owusu on the day. Mensah was dominating in defense and did not let them get a sniff at goal throughout the match as he often bullied out the young Indians. His passing was also really good as he delivered some stunning balls and his distribution game was really impressive. Though he didn’t have to do much, Mensah was always alert and showed encouraging things with his performance.
Rashid Al Hassan(7/10)
The Ghanaian Defender was very good on the day as he proved himself to a promising ball-playing defender with an impressive performance. Not only was AlHassan fulfilling his duties as a defender, but he also added something extra to his team’s game by attacking quite well in the first half. He had a powerful shot parried out by Dheeraj in that half and was doing pretty well to pressurize the left-flank in the first half. AlHassan became a tad bit defensive after things got comfortable for his side and was happy to let the minutes roll towards the end.
The left-sided defender was on point on the day as he was terrorizing in the left-flank for the Black Stars throughout the game. He was more intent on working on neutralizing the threat of Naorem in the first half and became a bit more free in the second half. Played a big role in the second goal when he marauded forward and played an intelligent pass to Ayiah to score his brace and take the game away from the hosts. Continued to threaten from the left till he was eventually substituted late in the second half.
The defensive midfielder of Ghana was doing his job perfectly as he did not let India get much of the possession in the game. Levah calmed things out after a stormy start to the match and won control of the game in the middle of the park. Was clever with his passing and distributed really well to the wings whenever he saw an opportunity and did not let India counter-attack or create any move through the middle. Did his job well-controlling midfield and made things way easier for the Black Stars.
Isaac Gyamfi was also pivotal to controlling much of the possession for the Black Stars as he did a really good job in the middle of the park. He didn’t do anything fancy on the day but was doing his job really well, with his passing and defensive work standing out. Gyamfi was helping out Levah really well with keeping the ball moving in midfield and was enjoying a lot of it thanks to India not pressurizing him enough. The impressive midfielder did his job and sealed an important win for Ghana.
Ibrahim was doing a great job in moving around in midfield to help his side create more and more chances. He was sticking mostly to the right flank as Ghana seemingly targeted that flank to mount most of their attacks from and did well to create some opportunities for Ghana. Was linking well with the brilliant Sulley and helped to take some pressure off him and enabled him to play his natural game as Ibrahim gave quite the admirable performance on the day.
Ibrahim Sulley was key to Ghana’s dominating performance as he was an absolute nightmare for the Indian defense and midfielders throughout the game. He was moving all around the final third, but was more inclined onto the right-wing and managed to beat out Stalin and the other left-sided players multiple time. Swung in a vicious cross for the first goal and was unlucky to see his shot rattle off the bar for the 3rd one, but did see it eventually turned in. A brilliant performance from an energetic player who dazzled India and won the group for the Black Stars.
The Ghanaian captained led from the front and was in absolute terrorizing form on the day which would be very bad for India. Ayiah didn’t really look that dangerous in the first minutes as he even scuffled a free-kick very badly, but got into his groove later on. Scored an opportunistic goal to give his side the lead before doubling it in the second half through a stunning finish with his left-foot. Worked really hard and inspired his team to give a dominating performance against the hosts and looked really dangerous before being subbed out in the second half.
Ghana’s number 10 was brought in when they were already in a rather comfortable position but showed great intent to improve their goal difference. Drifted into the left and created some opportunities for his team-mates before he got a share of luck when Sulley’s shot rebounded off the post to him, allowing him to tuck it in to get a goal of his own towards the end. Toku was decent in the minutes he did play and only helped Ghana win the group with his decisive late goal.
Mohammed was brought in for the prolific Arko-Mensah with around 15 minutes to go but was a calm figure in midfield for Ghana. He controlled things and kept the ball rolling after Ghana had scored their 4th goal and made sure they did not lose possession or do anything silly. Was too powerful for India to dispossess and did his job fairly well in those last couple of minutes.
Richard Danso was brought on for the captain Ayiah with only a mere 10 minutes remaining, but he decided to make his mark during that time itself. He pounced upon a brilliant ball and finished brilliantly with his left-foot to score with his first touch in the game and give Ghana a 3-0 lead Looked terrorizing in the dying minutes and showed a lot of energy in those final few minutes for the Black Stars.