By Samindra Kunti in New Delhi
October 16 – Hosts India were eliminated from their first World Cup on home soil following a 4-0 trashing by Ghana. England, France, Brazil and Germany marched into the knock-out phase with ease.
African giants Ghana ended the World Cup dreams of the ‘Blue Colts’ with a comprehensive all-round display in New Delhi. The Black Starlets cruised past India courtesy of a brace from their captain Eric Ayiah. The result left India bottom of Group A with no points and just a single goal, scored by Jackson Singh against Colombia.
The hosts were ultimately left red faced as the other World Cup debutants Niger and New Caledonia registered more credible results, but without the same financial backing as India. Niger qualified for the second round as one of the best third-placed teams courtesy of their 1-0 victory over North Korea. New Caledonia drew with Japan to get a point. The results meant India finished the tournament with the worst record of the 24 participants.
In the same group the United States dropped to third after a surprise 3-1 defeat to Colombia. In Group C Germany were pushed all the way before clinching a 3-1 win over Guinea. England confirmed their outstanding form with another stellar performance to finish top of group F. This time the team of coach Steve Cooper dispatched Asian champions Iraq 4-0.
In the round of sixteen the English will face Japan. France vs Spain will be the standout tie of the round. The U-17 World Cup will culminate with the final in Kolkata on October 28.
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