Iraq coach: Mali looked like an U-23 team – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


Iraq coach: Mali looked like an U-23 team

Mohamed Camara (L) and Abdulaye Diaby (2-R) of Mali during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 14:00

Iraq coach Qahtan Al-Rubaye has stopped just short of accusing Mali of age cheating at the ongoing U-17 World Cup in India.

The Asian U-17 champions were given a 5-1 thrashing by their African counterparts Mali when the teams in a last 16 clash in Margao on Tuesday.

The Young Eagles enjoyed a speed and size advantage over the Iraqis, with Hadji Drame, Lassana N’Diaye, Fode Konate and Seme Camara sharing the five goals between them.

“They sometimes look like they are an U-23 team and not in the same category as us (U-17),” said Al-Rubaye in the aftermath of the match.

“It’s quite visible in the way they play, the way they shoot and their abilities, like speed and physicality.

“It’s unfair sometimes because there is a big difference between African teams and others.”

African sides have been guilty of age cheating in junior tournaments in the past. The U-17 World Cup winners in 2015, Nigeria last year had half their squad at the age group ruled ineligible for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) screening.

Yet Mali coach Jonas Komla shrugged off any insinuations that his side may be fielding overage players.

”In football, it is important to accept the results. In a tournament of this stature, there are clear rules and testing for every player is performed before the World Cup. We have passed all the required tests and guidelines, so you have to accept it,” said Komla.


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WC U17: Mali 5 – 1 Iraq – AS IT HAPPENED – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 18:30

That’s all from the DY Patil Stadium where Mali beat Iraq 5-1 in an entertaining match. Mali book their place to the quarter-finals, while Iraq are eliminated from the competition.


Mali XI: Koita, Konate, Kane, Diaby, Haidara, Samake, Traore, Giddou, Camara, N’Diaye, Drame.

Iraq XI: Jabbar, Jabbar, Abdulsada, Abdulabbas Ayad, Albaqer, Ridha, Shakir, Ali, Kareem, Kareem, Adnan.


FULL-TIME: Mali 5-1 Iraq.

94 +4′ – GOAL! Mali 5-1 Iraq. N’Diaye grabs his brace in stoppage time.

90′ – Iraq sub: Khaled IN, Kareem OUT.

88′ – GOAL! Mali 4-1 Iraq. Seme Camara fires past Jabbar with a left-footed effort.

85′ – GOAL! Mali 3-1 Iraq. Kareem scores a late goal with his right foot.

82′ – Mali sub: S. Camara IN, Traore OUT.

80′ – Mali sub: Sidibe IN, Camara OUT.

75′ – Iraq forward Kareem is caught offside as the the Asians look to pull one back.

73′ – GOAL! Mali 3-0 Iraq. Konate beats Jabbar with a right-footed shot.

70′ – 20 minutes left for Iraq to pull one back, but Mali keeper Koita and his defence have done well thus far.

69′ – Mali sub: Doucoure IN, Giddou OUT.

65′ – Iraq sub: Muntadher IN, Ridha OUT.

60′ – It’s still 2-0 to Mali as we reach the hour-mark.

55′ – Maytham Jabbar misses the target with a header as Iraq look to apply some pressure on Mali.

50′ – Mali goalkeeper Koita is called into action and he denies Iraq forward Ridha.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

46′ – Iraq sub: Raad IN, Abdulsada OUT.

45′ – Half-Time: Mali 2-0 Iraq.

40′ – Drame tries to extend Mali’s lead, but his right footed shot narrowly misses the target.

35′ – The 2017 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) champions Mali are in complete control of this match.

33′ – GOAL! Mali 2-0 Iraq. This time it’s N’Diaye with a good header.

30′ – Mali’s pressure finally paid off and Drame beat Iraq goalkeeper Jabbar with a well-taken shot.

25′ – GOAL! Mali 1-0 Iraq. Drame scores with a right footed shot.

20′- Mali foward N’Diaye’s header from very close range narrowly misses the target.

15′ – Mali qualified for the Last 16 after finishing second in Group B, while Iraq were Group F runners-up.

10′ – Drame, the Malian forward, is looking lively – he’s keeping the Iraq defence very busy.

5′ – Mali are pushing for an ealy goal against their Asian counterparts.

1′ – The match is underway.


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Mali coach expects ‘great match’ against Iraq – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 14:30

Mali coach Jonas Komla says that he expects a “great match” against Iraq in the last 16 of the U-17 World Cup later today.

The Africans champions will face the Asian side at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao this afternoon, kick-off at 16h30 CAT, in a match which will be covered live by AfricanFootball.

“The fact that we [Mali] did so well in Chile [the 2015 edition of the U-17 World Cup, where Mali were runners-up to Nigeria] and also because we are the African champions, it’s a positive pressure on the team. It influences our work in a positive sense. Our ambitions are still the same,” said Komla on Monday.

“I’m expecting a great match. From now on it’s all or nothing. Both teams fully deserve to be here in the round of 16. We respect Iraq but we wish to win tomorrow,” he added.

Mali’s strong showing at the tournament thus far makes them the favourites against Iraq, who will be without key player Mohammed Dawood due to suspension, but Komla is taking nothing for granted.

“Unfortunately for Iraq, Dawood is not available for tomorrow but this doesn’t change the philosophy of my team. Iraq are a very strong team with or without Dawood,” Komla explained.

The winners will face either Ghana or Niger (who play each other on Wednesday) in the quarterfinals.


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