Spain faces tough test as they face Mali in semis

24th October 2017, Mumbai: The ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup is now down to only four teams. The four teams will fight for two final spots in Saturday’s final in Kolkata. With in-form Brazil facing high-flying England at Yuva Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata in front of a house packed stadium, Spain will have to go through a tough test as they will lock-horns against a spirited Mali side at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

Santiago Denia’s side is heading towards the match on the back of a comprehensive 3-1 win against Iran, while, Mali produced a superb display to send Ghana home after a narrow 2-1 win. Both the countries have only faced each other once previously when La Roja registered a 1-0 win in 1997.

Remarkably, Spain and Mali are current holders of their respective continents as both the U-17 side has lifted UEFA U-17 Euro and AFCON U-17, respectively. Not to forget, both the teams have lost only once on their road to the semi-final.

Mali’s striker Lassana N’Diaye’s performance will be crucial in tomorrow’s semi-final clash as he is currently leading the race for the Golden Boot with five goals so far. Following N’Diaye closely is Spain’s Captain Abel Ruiz and England’s sensation Rhian Brewster who have scored four goals each.

In terms of defense, Spain’s backline has been quite organized. La Roja has only conceded four goals, whereas, Mali has conceded six times so far. Keeping each other’s attacking threat in mind, both Spain and Mali will be looking to stand strong at the back tomorrow in hope stay alive in the contest.

Players to watch out for: Mali – Hadji Drame, Salam Jiddou, and Lassana N’Diaye.
Spain – Sergio Gomez, Abel Ruiz, and Ferran Torres.

 

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