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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Noah Awuku strikes late as Germany defeat Costa Rica

Jann-Fiete Arp and Noah Awuku scored one goal apiece as Germany made a good start to their FIFA U-17 World Cup with a win over Costa Rica.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 07, 2017 20:40 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Margao
FIFA U-17 World Cup,Germany vs Costa Rica,Germany Football Team
Germany defeated Costa Rica in their FIFA U-17 World Cup Group C opener. (Twitter)

Germany needed a late winner from substitute Noah Awuku to get past spirited Costa Rica 2-1 in their FIFA U-17 World Cup Group C opener at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Saturday.

Germany had created a host of chances but couldn’t capitalise on them and it looked like the match was heading towards a draw. But, Awuku was at the right place at the right time to net the winner in the 89th minute.

The opportunity came after Costa Rica centre-back Fernan Faerron failed to clear a regulation cross from the right side of the midfield. Awuku blasted it into the net which sparked wild celebration in the German camp.

German coach Christian Wuck was happy with the result but not with the scoreline. He thought they should have won by a bigger margin.

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“For the first 10 minutes, every player on the pitch was very nervous. But they regained their composure and we created many chances but couldn’t score. We could have won by a huge margin if we were clinical. I don’t know what was the problem. Maybe it was the pitch. Maybe the weather,” said Wuck after the victory.

Midfielder John Yeboah, who put in an impressive performance in the midfield playing besides Nicolas Kuehn and Elias Abouchabaka, was also not satisfied with their outing today. “We scored a lot of goals at the European Championship. We should score here as well,” he said.

Yannik Keitel of Germany battles for the ball with Jose Alfaro of Costa Rica. ( FIFA via Getty Images )

Germany were off to a very jittery start and if Costa Rica were more clinical with their finishing in front of the goal, they could have gone a goal up, if not two.

Soon they settled into their rhythm and raided the Costa Rican goal time after time but and their opener was scored by Jann-Fiete Arp in the 21st. He hassled the Costa Rica centre-backs throughout the match and could have scored couple of more goals if not good saves by goalkeeper Ricardo Montenegro.

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Costa Rica equalised against the run of play through Andres Gomez in the 64th minute as German defenders couldn’t track his run. The Central Americans had their chances as well but like Germany, they were also guilty of thrown away numerous that came their way.

Costa Rica coach Breansse Camacho was quite hurt by the late winner. “It’s very hard to lose a match so late. We had analysed Germany’s game in depth and had planned for it as well. We did trouble them in the midfield. But we failed to take the chances we created,” said the coach.

First Published: Oct 07, 2017 20:19 IST