Mali look to register first win against Turkey
Navi Mumbai, Oct 8 (PTI) Last edition's runners-up, Mali would look to bounce back from their opening game loss to Paraguay when they face Turkey in a Group B encounter of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here tomorrow.
After conceding two goals, Mali fought back hard to level the scores 2-2 at the half-time in their game against Paraguay, but they eventually lost 2-3.
Mali's defence is an area of concern and was widely exposed by Paraguay. But they have some strong attackers and coach Jonas Komla would surely expect his boys to learn from the mistakes they committed in their opening game.
Mali, who failed to win the title in 2015 after losing to Nigeria in the final, are considered as dark horse and they will have to score a win against Turkey tomorrow to remain in the fray.
Mali produced an aggressive display against Paraguay but they would need to pull up their socks against Turkey, who drew 1-1 against New Zealand in their Group opener.
Mali coach has admitted his boys were overenthusiastic to finish their game against Paraguay, which was one of the reasons for their defeat and he would want his boys to build their game and not hurry like the last time.
Turkey coach Mehmet Hacioglu had earlier said that the players from the other three sides were physically well-built but his team had more skillful players.
Ahmed Kutucu, the goal scorer in the last game, will have to replicate his performance. His stunning headers can surely decimate the opposition and all eyes will be on him.
Other Turkey midfielders will also need to support him as they did in the first half against New Zealand.
Kutucu had blamed lapses in concentration as one of the reasons for conceding the equaliser to the Kiwis and he would want his players to demonstrate unwavering focus during their game against Mali tomorrow.
The Teams (From):
Mali: Alkalifa Coulibaly, Boubacar Haidara, Djemoussa Traore, Fode Konate, Mamadi Fofana, Mohamed Camara, Hadji Drame, Abdoulaye Dabo, Seme Camara, Salam Giddou, Mamadou Traore, Mahamane Toure, Soumaila Doumbia, Siaka Sidibe, Abdoulaye Diaby, Youssouf Koita, Mamadou Samake, Ibrahiim Kane, Lassana Ndiayne, Cheick Oumar Doucoure, Massire Gassama.
Turkey: Berke Ozer, Emirhan Civelek, Melih Gokcimen, Sahan Akyuz, Ozan Kabak, Sefa Akgun, Ahmed Kutucu, Kerem Kesgin, Malik Karaahmet, Atalay Babachan, Recep Gul, Eren Bilen, Ismail Cokcalis, Umut Gunes, Yunus Akgun, Sezer Taskolu, Egehan Gok, Abdussamed Karnucu, Berk Cetin, Embiya Ayyildiz, Ozan Oruc.
Match starts at 5 PM