FIFA U-17 World Cup: 2015 runners-up Mali look to claim first title
Mali missed out on title in 2015 when they lost to Nigeria in the final and this time, they will be looking to claim the FIFA U-17 World Cup title for the first time in their history.Updated: Sep 23, 2017 19:13 IST
The finalists of the 2015 Fifa U-17 World Cup, Mali have featured in the global football youth event four times. Their best run undoubtedly was in Chile two years ago where they lost out to five-time champions Nigeria in the final (2-0). Prior to that, they had qualified for three successive U-17 World Cups starting 1997 to 2001. In 1997 they were eliminated in the quarter-final by Germany via penalties. In fact it was former Barcelona-man Seydou Keita who missed the decisive spot-kick against the Germans. In 1999 (New Zealand), the Malians did not make it past the group stage and were edged out in 2001 (Trinidad and Tobago) by Argentina in extra-time.
KNOW THE COACH
Jonas Komla took charge of the Malian U-17 side following the departure of Baye Bah, who had guided them to the final in Chile. Togo’s Komla, has previously coached Djoliba, which is one of Mali’s major clubs and UAE based outfit Bani Yas. His most prolific contribution to Mali’s youth team was the retention of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations title. “We want to honour Mali and all of Africa during the U-17 World Cup,” he was quoted as saying by fifa.com. After making the African championship finals, Komla had hoped the feat would bring peace to his country.”
Runners-up: 2015. Quarter-finals: 1997, 2001. Group stage: 1999. Did not qualify: 1991, 93, 2003-13. Did not enter: 1985-89.
PASSAGE TO INDIA
Mali’s qualification to the Fifa U-17 World Cup was nothing short of historic. They secured a place in Group B by retaining the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in the history of the competition.
Results in U-17 Africa Cup of Nations: Dw V Tanzania 0-0; bt Niger 2-1; bt Angola 6-1; bt Guinea 2-0 on penalties (SF, regulation time ended 0-0); bt Ghana 1-0 in the final.
First Published: Sep 20, 2017 14:41 IST