Mali, the ‘African sensation’, beat ‘South American powerhouse’ Argentina to finish third at the FIFA U17 World Cup 2023. An unexpected upset in the third-place game left them smiling in their final match of the tournament.
Mali faced Argentina in the third-place match of the 2023 U17 World Cup in Surakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday (Jan. 1), and overcame an early deficit to win 3-0 with an organized attack. Africa’s pride was saved and they finished third.레모나토토 도메인
It was a 4-3-3 system. They faced Argentina, who came out with a 4-1-4-1 formation with Mamadou Dumbia up top. They scored the first goal of the game to set the tone. Ibrahim Diarra, a right wing forward, opened the scoring in the ninth minute. Dumbia added a second goal in the 45th minute to make it 2-0 at halftime.
The second half saw a wedge early on. Hamidou Makalu scored the third goal off a pass from Diarra. This made it 3-0 and put the game out of reach. From there, the team did well to keep Argentina at bay. In the end, they managed to see out the second-half stoppage time to seal the win.
Mali was drawn in Group B of the tournament. They were up against Spain, Uzbekistan, and Canada for a spot in the tournament. They were favored to be eliminated, but they exceeded expectations and finished second in their group. They swept Uzbekistan 3-0 in the first round, and lost to Spain 0-1 in the second. In the third round, they defeated Canada 5-1 to advance to the round of 16.
As the tournament progressed, the team grew stronger. In the round of 16, they upset Mexico 5-0. They then beat fellow African nation Morocco 1-0 in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, they faced France and started well, scoring the first goal, but couldn’t overcome a numerical disadvantage due to dismissals and lost 1-2. In the third-place game, which was their final match, they defeated Argentina 3-0 to end their run in third place.
The team’s strong showing at the tournament cemented their status as a U17 World Cup powerhouse. They have finished fourth or better in three of the last four tournaments. They were a surprise runner-up in Chile in 2015 and finished fourth in India in 2017. They finished third in this year’s tournament, cementing their status as a youth soccer powerhouse.
After winning the U17 World Cup, the Olympics, and the U20 World Cup, Argentina was looking to win the U17 World Cup, but was unable to do so. In the semifinals, they were stopped in their tracks by Germany. They lost to Mali in the third-place game and finished fourth. It was their first top-four finish in 10 years after finishing fourth at the 2013 tournament in the United Arab Emirates, but they fell short of the title.
Meanwhile, the final between Germany and France will be played on Sunday. Germany will be looking to win their first title and France to return to the top of the podium for the first time in 22 years since the 2001 edition in Trinidad and Tobago.