FIFA U-17 World Cup: A great feeling to beat the champions of Africa, proclaims Paraguay manager
Paraguay edged out Mali in a thrilling second Group B match at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. Paraguay won 3-2 on the night as striker Alan Rodriguez scored the winner through a spot kick in the second half. The Paraguayan manager, Gustavo Morinigo was elated with his team's performance and praised his boys in the post-match press conference.
Paraguay surged to a 2-0 lead early in the first match but a quick comeback by the Malians saw the game tied 2 goals apiece after just 34 minutes of action. On his team squandering a solid lead, Morinigo said, "We played a risky game and concentrated a lot on attacking which made Mali take advantage of us at the other end. Our goalkeeper had a solid game and I'm happy with the brand of football that we displayed."
A 22-minute stretch in the first half saw as many as four goals being scored with this match providing end to end stuff of the highest order. Praising his opponents, the manager said, "Mali are a strong team. They are strong, physical and fast on the break. They also closed lines quickly which gave us very little time on the ball."
The Paraguayan manager was naturally elated by beating one of the tournament's dark horses as he proclaimed, "I and the boys were ecstatic after the final as it is a great feeling to beat the champions of Africa. These young players have given their all and this victory was a result of the hard shift put in the last few years." The manager also claimed that the balance which his side showed after scoring the third decisive goal was crucial in snatching a victory.
With a win over Mali, Paraguay have now gone on top of group B. Turkey and New Zealand played out a draw in the first match of the day which has now thrown this group wide open.
To end his press conference, Morinigo talked about the competition in this group. He said, "The first match day has shown the levels of competitiveness in Group B. We will focus on our next game from tomorrow and look to avoid mistakes which were done tonight."