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2017 FIFA U-17 WC: Some talking points of note as Mali ends campaign in 4th place

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Kolkata, India, October 29 (Infosplusgabon) - Brazil may have defeated African champions Mali 2-0 to win third place at the just-ended 2017 FIFA World Cup in India but this may not be a true reflection of events in that match.

According to the FIFA media channel, the scoreline in truth isn’t a reflection of what actually happened on the pitch as Mali won a lot of hearts in Kolkata and India following their spirited display against Brazil and during the whole tournament.


The game started in a not-so-bright manner as both teams looked to be getting a feel for each other. Brazil were very lucky to win the game as Mali missed several chances. The Africans were also denied by some brilliant saves by the Brazil goalkeeper and the World Cup's Golden Glove winner, Brazao.


Brazil finished as the third-placed team despite putting up a lacklustre performance especially in the first half. Most of their players performed below par and there were no good moves until the 85th minute when Yuri Alberto combined with Marcos Antonio to bring about the first true good move by Brazil.


In the first half, except just one brilliant run by Lincoln, Brazil didn't have anything to cheer about. The Brazilian full-backs were just non-existent during most parts of the game. It was such a performance by Brazil that the crowd even started appreciating a back pass from the Canarinhos because quality forward passes from Brazil were as rare as an oasis in a desert.


Brazil were run ragged in the first half as Mali totally dominated the game and created numerous chances. Their main goal scorer, Ndiaye, was the culprit of failing to convert some delicious crosses by Hadji Drame, while goalkeeper Brazao pulled off some stunning saves from shots by Salam Jiddou and Mohamed Camara.


Here are some statistics that showed that Mali completely dominated the first half - Mali shots on goal and on target were 10:3, Brazil's were only 2/0.


Mali had 7 corners during the first 45 minutes while Brazil had just one corner


Jiddou was in his usual dominant self on Saturday. Mali might have lost the game and finished fourth in the tournament, but they definitely won hearts in Kolkata for their passionate display of attacking football.


In the first half, Mali completely dominated the game and Brazil were pegged back all through the half.


At the centre of all the happenings were Mohamed Camara, their leader and captain, Hadji Drame their diminutive winger who caused chaos in the Brazilian defence and Salam Jiddou the Mali midfield general who was a box of trouble for the Brazilians through the centre of the park.


Jiddou's positioning, passes and runs all made it very difficult for the Brazilians to keep him in check. He was probably the player of the match even though Mali lost the game.


Brazilian player, Paulinho, however, left his mark in this World Cup and will be remembered for long.


After Mali conceded a calamitous first goal from an Alan shot, the whole Brazilian team erupted in joy and were celebrating near the corner flag except Paulinho, the Vasco da Gama forward, who walked up the Mali 'keeper and gave him a helping hand and started consolidating him for his blunder and made sure the keeper didn't completely break down for his mistake.


A gesture like this at this level deserves praise and it is note worthy that players showing such gestures is something that wins hearts all day long any where in the world.


Youngsters watching the game should be encouraged to show gestures like this one more and more.


It was the 55th minute and Alan found himself in ample free space and with no one but the keeper. The pint-sized playmaker decided to shoot from the edge of the 18-yard box. It was in truth a very poor shot which lacked power and direction and seemed to be an easy catch for goalkeeper Koita but then the unthinkable happened.


The ball had an awkward bounce just before the 'keeper reached and it subsequently went through his legs and slowly rolled across the line for Brazil’s first goal. This incident truly changed the dynamics of the game and Brazil slowly crept into the game and which ultimately led to Brazil winning the game.






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