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India's campaign ends at FIFA WC; lose to Ghana 0-4

New Delhi, Oct 12 (UNI) India ended their campaign in the FIFA U-17 World Cup after the hosts lost 0-4 to a superior and physical Ghana in their third Group A match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the Capital on Thursday.
India dominated the game for the first 40 minutes playing all over and overpowering the burly rivals in most of the battles. The intent was evident and Ghana, for most of the half, defended and chased.
Ghana tried to claw back and succeeded in taking the lead in the 44th minute. Sadiq Ibrahim unleashed a low shot, one of those which every goalkeeper hates and though Dheeraj was quick to go down and palm it, rival Captain Eric Ayaih blasted in the rebound.
Changing over, reluctance of releasing the ball gifted Ghana their second goal. Having intercepted a one-two, Sanjeev Stalin sidestepped his marker but the rush of adrenalin didn’t tempted him to go solo instead of getting it to his unmarked teammates. He tried to dribble past the entire rival midfield and eventually got caught in the jungle of legs.
Head Coach Luis Norton de Matos made his first change in the 58th minute, Naorem being replaced by Ninthoiganba
Ghana, by then, were using the flanks to penetrate. Both the wingers were nippy and chased it faster than Boris and Sanjeev laying it for the strikers in the box. And had not Dheeraj not leapt high to intercept a lob in a one to one situation, things could have been worse.
If the first 30 minutes belonged to India, Ghana were in full flow by the 60th; and 30 minutes remained.
Matos executed his second change in the 63rd minute – this time captain Amarjit being replaced by Rahim Ali and then in the 77th minute Lalengmawia coming in for Aniket.
Realising time was running out, India went all out. In the 80st minute Rahul KP did try from a distance but it went straight to Danald, and three minutes later, even as Lalengmawia tried to beat Danald, the latter despite fumbling the first occasion, managed to hold on.
Ghana sealed the fate with two goals in two minutes in the 84th and the 85th – sloppy defending letting India down on both occasions.
UNI NC SDR 2304
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