USA beats host India 3-0 in Under-17 World Cup opener

The FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 trophy. Image courtesy Twitter

This will be a golden opportunity for India as India qualified to participate in Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup on the basis of a host nation despite not having the required merit. The tournament is being played at six different stadiums in India.

Ghana and Colombia set the trend with an intensely fought contest.

Watched by a crowd of more than 40,000 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, a bunch of 11 Indian boys, led by Amarjit Singh Kiyam, created history on Friday as they became India's first representatives at a FIFA World Cup of any age category. It was a historic match for India as they were about to play their first game in FIFA World Cup. The American players began with a possessive match.

Defending champions Nigeria will be unable to defend their title as they failed to qualify. We know that the Indians are going to challenge us.

The Indian team tried hard and even came close to scoring a goal but they were outplayed by superior opponents. The opposition's striker, Joshua Sargent didn't miss the opportunity to score.

The U.S. must play better to beat GhanaThis was a good win. "I think we can play much better", usa coach John Hackworth said. They struggled to complete passes and ended up numerous times in giving away the ball to opponents. The overall strategy that saw the side pack the defense in their own half for much of the contest was a sound one.

In the 84th minute Anwar Ali had the best chance of the night for India but his powerful shot came off the crossbar and as luck would have it Andrew Carleton scored on the counter to net their third of the night.

The United States were tired of the likes of Komal Thatal and Ninthoinganba Meetei catching them on the counter and treaded carefully with their attacks in the early minutes. The US players again started to play a possessive game to retain their one-goal lead over hosting side.

But, the team is suspect defensively, given that both centre-backs, James Sands and Chris Durkin, are playing out of position. India's spirits were crushed when United States scored their third on the counter right after the agonising miss. Indian team even got a standing ovation from the fans for their fighting performance.

While the U.S. have been a four-time quarterfinalist and one-time semifinalist, Ghana are undoubtedly the most competitive side, with two crowns and four runners-up finishes. We need to rectify our mistakes and move on. They would have learnt how to play before such an awesome crowd, which is also an important learning process for them. Coach Luis Norton de Matos was not happy with the outcome of the opening game, and he would be hoping that his players put up a better show against the South American giants.

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