India U17 0 - 3 USA U17: match report
The USA overcame an intense atmosphere in New Delhi to ease to victory over India in their opening match of the 2017 Under-17 World Cup. Josh Sargent converted a penalty in the first half, with Chris Durkin and Andrew Carleton adding gloss to the result after half time.
The emphatic victory sends John Hackworth’s young Americans top of Group A with a stronger goal difference than Ghana, who saw off Colombia 0-1 earlier on Friday.
The Jawaharlal Nehru stadium was cacophonous as the Indian Colts lined up for the national anthem before kick-off. It was the first time an Indian side has ever played in a FIFA competition, and the intensity of the support reflected that occasion.
The atmosphere appeared to intimidate the home team in the early stages. Tim Weah of Paris Saint-Germain played Josh Sargent through on goal after four minutes. The captain, who represented the USA Under-20s in the World Cup in Korea earlier this summer, gathered the ball at an awkward height and fired the ball in to the chest of goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh.
Sargent was the architect of the first goal. He used his muscular frame to get the better of Jitandra Singh on the edge of the box, before falling under a slight touch. Sargent made the most of whatever contact there was, but the Bolivian referee showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot. The No.9 picked himself up and tucked the spot-kick in to the bottom corner with the clock showing 30 minutes.
The momentum almost immediately swung in India’s favour. The home side ended the first half on the front foot, with the peroxide-blonde Komal Thatal a skillful presence on the left wing.
Chris Durkin punctured their hopes six minutes after the restart, rifling a left-footed volley in to the corner after India had failed to clear a corner. Anwar Ali stretched out a desperate leg on the line, but succeeded only in deflecting the ball in to the roof of the net.
Thatal and Jadhav continued to present a quiet, if low-level threat to the American defence. Yet the home side began to tire. While they matched their opponents on a technical level, it was men against boys physically.
The best chance of the second half fell to Anwar Ali, who crashed the crossbar from six-yards out after the ball had fallen to him at the back post from corner. The USA galloped forward on the counter attack, and Andrew Carleton rounded the ‘keeper before rolling the ball in to the net. For the inexperienced India side, it was a harsh lesson in the fine margins of elite football.
India U17 0 - 3 USA U17: as it happened
90'+3' Full time.
90'+3' Dheeraj rushes out to the corner of his box to deny Vassilev on the left.
90'+1' The scorer of the third goal, Andrew Carleton, ambles off to be replaced by Indiana Vassilev.
90' Three minutes of added time.
89' Sanjeev Singh shapes a curled shot towards the far corner after a coming together between Thatal and Lindsey stopped the ball dead in its tracks on the corner of the box. He hit it well, but can't get it to bend in.
88' George Acosta drifts in to space in the box and attempts a first-time volley, which he fails to keep down.
83' GOOOOOL! The USA stretch their lead through Andrew Carleton! He takes advantage of India committing numbers forward to surge through the middle, round the 'keeper, and roll the ball in. Game, set, and match.
81' Suresh Singh seizes on Sands' loose touch 30 yards out and thrashes a shot that deflects off Durkin's head and behind. The ball drops to Anwar Ali at the far post from the subsequent corner. He takes a touch and shoots right-footed, but he betrays the fact that he's a centre-half in enemy territory and smashes the bar!
81' Rahim Ali slides a ball through to Thatal with the outside of his right foot. Garces dashes out of the goal and slides at the peroxide-blonde's feet to clear the danger.
80' The USA are seeing the match out astutely. Controlled possession from the visitors. The home side are looking increasingly heavy-legged.
78' Gloster tries to latch on to Ferri's chip to the left before it runs out of play. He's quick, but not that quick. Goal kick to India.
76' GOOOO... no! Well, I thought that was a sublime finish as Andrew Carleton's shot makes the net ripple, but the pained expression on his face quickly reveals that it is the side netting. Pesky camera angles...
73' Naorem has shown some neat feet out on the left wing, but like much of India's crisp play, it hasn't amounted to a great deal. Up at the other end, Tim Weah stings Dheeraj's palms with a fierce shot from a narrow angle. The 'keeper can only parry, but Anwar Ali nips in to clear the danger.
72' Naorem replaces Ninthoi in India's second change.
71' Thatal fizzes the free-kick in to a crowd of players surging towards the six-yard box, but it's an American head that rises highest.
70' Rahim Ali replaces Sarkar for India.
69' Sands trips Jadhav on the corner of the box and India have a dangerous free kick.
66' Jorge Acosta replaces Akinola for the USA.
61' Oh dear, Ayo Akinola. The striker continues his substandard performance with a lazy, sliced chip after being played in by Carleton. He just needed to pick his spot and side-foot the ball.
60' Aniket Jadhav bursts in to the box, and bursts straight in to the sizeable frame of Chris Goslin. With the match creeping past the hour mark, it looks like the Indian players are beginning to tire.
58' Blaine Ferri has a swipe from 25 yards out. His shot is well struck, and Dheeraj is scrambling for a moment, but it fizzes about 12 inches over the crossbar.
56' Komal Thatal thrashes the turf in frustration. He runs in behind the defence and capitalises on a misjudgement by Durkin to latch on to a long ball. With the 'keeper rushing out, Thatal goes for an audacious first-time lob. He overcooks it, and the ball thuds down on the athletics track behind the goal.
54' George Weah tries to break the offside trap to go through on goal, but didn't time his run quite right. The linesman's flag is hoisted on the near side.
53' Weah dips in side and flashes a shot wide from 25 yards.
51' GOL GOL GOL! Chris Durkin doubles the USA's lead after India fail to clear a corner. It fell to him 18 yards out, and the centre-half showed gorgeous technique to hook it in to the far corner with his left foot. It took a touch off an Indian defender, but was heading in to the net regardless.
49' Carleton skips past a challenge in the box. He could have gone down, as Sargent did in the first half, but opts to charge on and clip the ball to the far post. Dheeraj reacts at lightning speed to tip the ball away.
47' Josh Sargent checks his run so Goslin and slot a ball through to him in the box. The linesman raises his flag for offside, and it looked a very tight call. In any case, Dheeraj stood up well and blocked Sargent's driven shot.
46' Peeep! Off goes the second half. No changes from either side at the break.
India and the USA are back out for the second half.
Komal Thatal, playing on the left wing, was India's main threat as the home side gained control of the match towards the end of the first half.
45'+1' Half time. The USA dominated the first 30 minutes and lead courtesy of a Josh Sargent penalty, but the hosts ended the half with the momentum firmly in their favour.
45'+1' Neat interplay between Ninthoiganba and Sanjeev Singh on the edge of the box almost creates an opening for the former, but his first touch is poor.
45' Gloster rolls around holding his nose. He wants a foul given against Jadhav for a stray arm, but there's nothing doing. Durkin clears a threatening cross at the near post, and the USA clear.
42' India have a first shot of the match, and it's Aniket Jadhav sauntering in from the left and shooting low. Garces shuttles across his line and smothers the ball with ease.
40' Thatal skips down the wing and looks up to see Jadhav pointing ahead of him, indicating his run in behind. Thatal finds the striker, but his cross is blocked with ease, and Jitandra scuffs the follow-up out for a goal kick. Nevertheless, India are beginning to threaten down the left flank.
38' Komal Thatal, with his shock of blonde hair, twists and turns on the left in an attempt to escape the close attention of Lindsey. The American right-back sticks to him like a rash and blocks the cross.
36' The USA have had 62% of possession to India's 38%.
35' The USA's high press is working extremely well. India look hassled at the back. They can't find a way to play through the perpetually oncoming wave of red shirts.
33' A heavy touch from PSG's Tim Weah sees the ball roll out for a goal kick. He's had a slightly frustrating time of it. Akinola has too. The No.7 is alone at the far post, but Lindey overhits his cross from the right and it sails beyond everyone.
30' GOOOOOOL! Sargent send the 'keeper the wrong way and rolls the ball in to the bottom left corner. An assured finish from the captain.
29' Penalty to the USA! Sargent gets past Jitandra and throws himself to the ground. A very soft one, but the Bolivian official wastes no time in pointing to the spot. Sargent will take.
26' A first corner for India, which Sanjeev Singh floats to the far posts. An American head nods clear and the visitors surge forward on the counter attack. Amarjit Singh is lucky to avoid a booking for a cynical foul on Akinola, particularly given his earlier bodycheck on Ferri.
23' Ayo Akinola had yet to get involved. The Toronto forward is looking to add to his 24 goals in 25 appearances for the Under 17s.
23' Aniket Jadhav is leading an isolated existance in attack for India. The home side have a rare chance to counter attack, but the ball in to him is wayward and runs straight through to the American defence.
20' Kannoly does superbly to keep up with Weah as he careers in to the box. The Indian right-back makes a well-timed sliding tackle to send the ball out for a corner. The 'keeper punches the delivery clear, and Goslin fires the ball in to the crowd from 30 yards. 'He almost caught that too well,' as one might say in proper football cliche parlance.
17' The Indian youngsters are technically proficient, but physically they look a couple of years behind their opponents. They can't be accused of a lack of bite though, as Jitandra Singh flies in on Josh Sargent, who represented the USA U20's in 'their' World Cup earlier this summer.
14' The USA almost take the lead in fortuitous circumstances. Jitandra Singh swivles to clear at left-back, but hits the ball straight in to Lindsey's shin. It catapults off the American right-back and Dheeraj is forced in to a smart save at his near post. Play restarts with a goal kick, so it appears the ball had already gone behind when it made contact with the 'keeper's gloves.
12' The Indian goalkeeper brings a neat spell of possession to an abrupt end by hoofing the ball straight to his opposite number.
10' Amarjit Singh, the Indian captain with a dashing undercut, commits a bodycheck on Ferri 35 yards out and the Bolivian referee awards a foul. Josh Sargent stands over it. He's not going to shoot, is he? Oh, he is... and it goes in to the wall.
7' DC United's Durkin plays a gorgeous diagonal ball to Tim Weah on the left, who takes it down on his chest but can't keep it in play. Durkin has played as a defennsive midfielder in the past, and his calm presence on the ball is testament to that. India are struggling to get out of their own half at the moment.
7' Tim Weah drifts in from the left on to his favoured right foot, but drags a limp shot wide of the near post.
4' Carleton steams in to the box on the right and tries to round the goalkeeper. He does so, but can't take the ball with him, and it trickles out for a goal kick. The home side give the ball straight back to a red shirt mid-way inside their own half, allowing Tim Weah to thread in Sargent with the outside of his boot. One-on-one, Josh Sargent gathers the ball in but fires straight in to the chest of India's No. 1.
3' Gloster gallops forwards from left-back on the overlap, but he mishits a low cross and the 'keeper, Dheeraj Singh, gathers.
3' Goslin and Ferri, playing as a deep-lying midfield pair, both look very comfortable on the ball for the USA. If they early stages are anything to go by, they will be dictating the play this afternoon.
1' Goslin sprays the ball out to Tim Weah on the left wing. The son of George opts for a deft, first time cross with the ball on the bouce, but the Indian defence deal with it and emerge from the back.
1' Kick off! The USA get us underway in New Delhi.
The packed stadium roars out the Indian anthem. Playing in this atmosphere will be a superb experience for these youngsters.
It's national anthem time in New Delhi. None of the American youngsters have taken a knee...
USA XI: Garces, Lindsey, Goslin, Sands, Carleton, Durkin, Ferri, Gloster, Sargent, Weah, Akinola.
India XI: D. Singh; Rahul KP, Ali, J. Singh, S. Singh; Stalin, A. Singh, Thatal, Sartar, Nintholganba; Jadhav.
Ghana have taken the advantage in Group A with a 0-1 victory over Colombia earlier today. India and the USA are the other two teams that make up the group.
The MLS will be represented as the U-17 World Cup starts after Toronto FC goalkeeper Sunny Dhaliwal has been drafted into the Indian squad for the Fifa Under-17 World Cup after he managed to procure an Indian passport.
One player in the US team to look out for today is Timothy Weah. Yes, indeed son of the legendary George Weah of PSG, AC Milan and Liberia fame. Son Timothy recently signed a pro deal with Ligue 1 side PSG.
Hello, good morning and welcome to our live coverage from the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India as the host nation face the US with a 1630 start.
India U17 vs USA U17: preview
Xavi Hernández played in 1997, Fernando Torres in 2001, and Neymar dazzled in 2009. The Under-17 World Cup is not just a tournament, but another crucial class in the finishing school of football.
The hosts, India, will begin their 2017 tournament with a match against the United States in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. Colombia and Ghana are the other two teams who complete Group A.
The hosts will be eager to flourish beneath the spotlight as they make their debut in a FIFA competition.
Portuguese coach Luís Norton de Matos acknowledges that the competition will be touch for his young side. Yet the coach has invoked the spirit of Ghandi to inspire his team:
"Just as history shows, a team can defeat stronger opponents with determination. One hundred organised, victory-driven and fearless men can defeat 1,000 enemies. Just as Mahatma Gandhi said: ‘Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will’."
The 'Indian Colts' have secured some respectable results in the run-up to this tournament, including draws against Chile, Macedonia, and Serbia. That said, their 3-0 win over Mauritius in September was their first victory in eleven matches since scraping to a 0-1 victory over Belarus in January.
If India have one thing in their favour, it is familiarity, with 16 of the 23 man squad playing their club football for AIFF Elite Academy. Midfielder Komal Thatal, who is the top scorer in the squad with eight goals in 30 appearances, is one of those 16. Sunny Dhaliwal, the third-choice goalkeeper who plays for Toronto, is the only player in India's squad to play abroad.
The United States are altogether more seasoned campaigners, with this being their 16th appearance at an Under-17 World Cup.
Josh Sargent is a stand-out player for John Hackworth's side. The St. Louis Scott Gallagher striker has already played in one World Cup this year, the Under-20 version, and impressed in that tournament in South Korea. Along with fellow striker Ayo Akinola, who has scored 24 goals in 25 matches for The Stars and Stripes.
George Weah's son (and therefore, perhaps, Ali Dia's cousin) Tim is in the squad as an uncapped player. He plays his club football for Paris Saint-Germain.
The USA come in to the tournament on a strong run of form, having lost just one of their 12 matches in 2017 (won 9, drawn 1, lost 1).
India U17 vs USA U17 live stream online: odds and betting
The United States are the strong favourites to win, and are available at 1/3.