African champions Mali will fancy their chances of sealing a knockout berth when they lock horns with New Zealand in their final group game of the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Mali will be high on confidence after their 3-0 drubbing of Turkey in their previous Group B game at the D Y Patil Stadium.
The 2015 edition finalist will be up against a spirited New Zealand side. Though the Kiwis lost 4-2 to Paraguay, they will take solace from the fighting spirit they showed against the South American giants. New Zealand were playing without their regular skipper Max Mata, who missed the match because of two yellow cards.
His coming back will bolster the side, considering it was Mata who scored in the 1-1 stalemate against Turkey, and he will again look to register his name in the score-sheet at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Having reached the title clash in 2015, the physically and tactically superior Africans are looking to go a step better this time around. The likes of strikers Lassana N’Diaye and Hadji Drame have clicked upfront and are expected to test the New Zealand defence.
(Story filed by Debroop Roy)