Wrap-up: So that’s how India’s first ever football World Cup campaign came to pass. 3 matches, 9 goals conceded, one goal scored, 0 points on board but many hearts won and hopefully plenty of lessons learnt. Chin up, boys and move forward!
Stay tuned to The Field for the match report, analysis and continued coverage of the tournament. Thanks for joining us, hope you enjoyed us bringing the action to you as much as we did watching and covering India’s journey.
10:05 pm: Some post-match reaction as India finish their first ever Fifa World Cup campaign:
India’s FIFA Under-17 World Cup journey is over: It was a chastening defeat after the night started well for the kids, but at this stage, it’s not just about starting well – it’s about keeping the level going. Indian players will have learned that the hard way. The result must be difficult to take (as the players’ reaction at full time showed) but there’s plenty to learn for the boys from this journey.
Full-time, Ghana win 4-0: Well, India couldn’t match Ghana’s physicality today and were thoroughly outplayed by the Africans. Well–deserved victory for them.
India have conceded twice in the space of few seconds: There’s not much to talk about the proceedings now. The boys have just been taken apart in the last few minutes here. Two goals in the space of a minute.Substitute Richard Danso with pretty much his first touch and Toku with the fourth.
After 85 minutes, India 0-2 Ghana: Two shots on target in the last few minutes for India. The second one from Lalengmawia is a much better one, finding the sweet spot from a long range but the goalie is alert.
After 80 minutes, India 0-2 Ghana: The game is petering out to a finish here as de Matos makes one final change. Dheeraj keeping the Ghana forwards at bay. KP Rahul, in a rare Indian attack, gets India’s FIRST shot on target but straight to the keeper.
After 72 minutes, India 0-2 Ghana: The Ghanians have repeatedly gone for the long shot given Dheeraj’s high starting position but the Indian goalie has not been caught out yet. Came close to once and remonstrated his midfielders for that. Meanwhile, crowd is still going “India India!” to keep the boys going.
In Mumbai, Colombia have taken the lead leaving 3 teams on six points as it stands. Goes to show how tough India’s group was.
After 65 minutes, India 0-2 Ghana: Sulley almost makes it 3-0 but then Dheeraj is alert to the chip. Well, instead of damage control, it’s now or never for India as de Matos acknowledges that the situation calls out for more firepower upfront. Rahim Ali comes on for captain Amarjit Kiyam, the second of the players who had a niggle yesterday but nonetheless, started the game tonight.
After 60 mins, India 0-2 Ghana: Nong’s World Cup is over as he gets a huge hug from De Matos – Ninthoi is brought on.The boy from Manipur who had a bit of a niggle yesterday in training has been unable to carry on. It’s now about damage control for de Matos you would think. Ghana meanwhile will now cruise into the round of 16, with six points, as things stand.
52nd min, Ghana lead 2-0: It’s the captain who scores again. As Arko-Mensah pulls it back from the left byline, Ayiah leathers the ball, putting his foot through it. The ball nestles in the bottom corner. No chance for Dheeraj. Game over, almost certainly for the Indians. The defence was caught badly out of position.
After 50 mins, India 0-1 Ghana: The visitors have started on the front foot, India have barely put in a few passes together. Dheeraj is back taking goal kicks, so that’s a good sign that his injury is not serious. A couple of offsides against Ghana. And a yellow card for Ibrahim as well who’ll miss Ghana’s next match.
09:00 pm: Some half-time reaction...
HALF-TIME, India 1 - 0 Ghana: Overall balance of the game, Ghana have been the better side and deserve the 1-0 scoreline as they head into half time. USA meanwhile are 1-1 against Colombia. Be back for the second half.
Thoughts from Arka at JLN: India will be disappointed to concede in the 43rd minute.They would have loved to go into the break 0-0 against a strong Ghana team. India’s strikers have been outmuscled by the Ghanian defence. No way through for them, just yet.
4 mins added time in the first half, Ghana lead 1-0: India will be gutted about that goal and it seems to have deflated them a bit. Half time can’t come soon enough.
GOAL, GHANA in the 43rd minute: And Ayiah finally has his first goal in India. All the pressure has been coming from Ghana’s right. As Ibrahim’s shot fizzes into the box, Dheeraj parries it onto the path of the captain, who sweeps it onto the roof of the net. Horrible time for India to concede at the end of this half. De Matos will be gutted having seen his team keep out Ghana for most of the half.
After 41 mins, India 0-0 Ghana: More break in lay and this time it’s an injury for Dheeraj. Thankfully for India, Dheeraj is back on his feet as he resumes play with a goal-kick. Dheeraj has a moment of indecision as it almost cost India a goal. Meanwhile, Ghana continue to hit the long range shots and their coach is NOT HAPPY, NOT ONE BIT!
After 35 minutes, India 0-0 Ghana: Boris gets a yellow as his kung-fu jump catches Arko-Mensah square in the faceGhana with a free-kick in a dangerous position here. The anxiety is building in the stadium and the crowd cheers in unison as the kick goes high, wide and handsome. Might still be trvelling into orbit that one. Wasted by Eric Ayiah. The Ghanian captain, who lit up the AFCON U-17, just hasn’t got going in India.
After 30 mins, India 0-0 Ghana: The Ghanian long rangers, though close, shouldn’t worry Dheeraj and co. As long as they restrict Ghana to shots from outside the box and Dheeraj has his angles covered, they need not fret too much. Break in play in the 30th minutes, as a Ghana player is down injured.
After 27 mins, India 0-0 Ghana: The slowest passage of this match by far. Dheeraj trying to slow the game down from the back, as he perhaps realises India can’t keep up with the intensity from the Ghanians. Couple of brilliant long range efforts from Ghana (really long, and quite close) and Dheeraj happy to see them fly just over. Everyone’s falling down in the middle, including the linesman, as the crowd has a bit of a giggle. Oh, football fans.
After 20 mins, India 0-0 Ghana: Few more fouls in that five minute period as the game slows down just a tad bit. Dheeraj called into action a few more times, punches clear from a long shot. India breaking forward well again with Aniket and Nong showing impressive pace but Ghana’s pace and strength is something else.
Note from Arka: As the Ghanians grow into the game, it seems like a more flat three in midfield. Suresh and Jeakson sit deeper now, ever-waiting for the chance to spring.
After 15 mins India 0-0 Ghana: It looks like de Matos has released the shackles finally tonight. India playing with freedom but that’s not a good thing necessarily, not yet. Frustration for Aniket Jadhav as he rams into Sadiq Ibrahim – could very well have been a yellow. Dheeraj punches well from the resulting free kick and India break down the left with pace. Yakubu brings Boris down, promising situation for India and it’s that man Sanjeev Stalin again. Excellent position as the crowd realise it as well – a good delivery is cleared.
After 10 mins India 0-0 Ghana: 3 offsides in the opening 10 minutes against Ghana and one of those was a popular decision. Ghana had the ball in the net after a rapid break but it was correctly called by the linesman. The crowd erupt as the assistant referee flagging for offside is the most popular man in the stadium.
Meanwhile in Mumbai, not-so-good news for India:
After 5 mins India 0-0 Ghana: This is a surprise. While we thought that Jeakson would sit the deepest of the midfield 3, it’s actually Amarjit playing the anchorman while Suresh is the farthest forward of the three. Ghana’s pace proving too much for the Indian defence but India are keen to get forward every time as well.
08:00 pm: What a start for India that would have been. A corner in the very first minute and India work it short and almost fashion an opening. End-to-end start!
07:59 pm: It’s time! The teams are out in the middle. The national anthems done. We are all set.
07:51 pm: Considering that there are very few in this Indian team who combine pace and physicality, De Matos may not play as high a line as India did against Colombia, instead opting to sit back and soak up pressure for the first 30 minutes, akin to their game against the US.
More from our match preview here:
Meanwhile, our correspondent’s pun-game is strong.
07:45 pm: Nongdamba was impressive in his two substitute appearances. Can he impress again from the start today?
Arka: Nong will bring in his pace to the flank while it’s a surprise that Namit has been dropped, unless the center-back has been carrying a knock. Both Aniket and Rahim have been unable to keep the ball so it’s not a surprise that De Matos keeps looking to switch between the two. In all fairness, service to the strikers has been poor so you can’t blame either Aniket or Rahim.
07:35 pm: Arka thinks this midfield could make or break tonight’s game for India:
“Jeakson, Suresh and Amarjit lend balance to the middle. While Jeakson will sit the deepest, Suresh will alternate between defence and attack depending on the team’s approach to the game. Amarjit is expected to be the furthest player forward.”
07:30 pm: Of course, the other match in this group which will decide India’s fate, will kickoff simultaneously in Navi Mumbai. We’ll bring you updates from USA v Colombia (The Narcos Clash, as some user on social media put it) as well.
Meantime, update from Arka on the lineup:
It’s likely to be a 4-3-3 with Nong and KP Rahul playing either side of Aniket. Adventurous line-up from de Matos. The midfield is key here. As a neutral observer, feel that this is the midfield – Suresh, Jeakson, Amarjit – which should have started the first match.
07:20 pm: Like the scenario shows, it’s a steep hill for India to climb. But it’s just another to show how far this team has progressed. Once again, the manager has made four changes with Ninthoi, Namit, Sarkar, Rahim Ali making way for Jitendra, Suresh, Aniket and Nongdamba.
07:07 pm: And here’s the Indian lineup for tonight. The pacy Nongdamba starts for the first time this U17 World Cup.
07:05 pm: After consecutive losses against the USA and Colombia India stand on the brink of elimination from the group stage. At their debut on the world stage, the Indian team has shown glimpses of quality and even notched up their first goal against Colombia courtesy of a strike via Jeakson Singh. Despite that strike, India went on to lose 2-1.
As things stand currently, India are bottom of Group A with no points. The young Blue Tigers need a win against Ghana to stand a chance of qualifying for the Round of 16. There is also a need for other results to go in their favour if they are to finish in the top two positions in the group.
Here are the scenarios explained in detail:
06:58 pm: Expect the fans to turn up in good numbers in Delhi to cheer on the Indian U-17 team once more. They have already won plenty of hearts and a good performance tonight will once again cement their status as fighters in front of adoring fans.
06:50 pm: Hello and welcome all to the live blog of India’s final group game at the Fifa Under-17 World Cup as they take on Ghana at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. It’s perhaps the toughest test the Indian youngsters face on this World Cup journey of theirs as they look to obtain their first points. As always, our correspondent Arka Bhattacharya will be at the stadium to bring us the latest updates and insights and what not.