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FIFA U17 WORLD CUP

India 0 - 3 USA U-17 World Cup, as it happened, goals, match report

The United States eased to victory over the hosts in New Delhi with goals from Josh Sargent (pen), Chris Durkin, and Andrew Carleton.
Senegal - Colombia: World Cup 2018 Group H, game 3

Update:
India 0 - 3 USA U-17 World Cup, as it happened, goals, match report
PRAKASH SINGHAFP

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

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.

India

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.

USA

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.

Bet on India vs USA at the Under-17 World Cup.

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