Ivory Coast pack off listless New Zealand

Little Elephants cruise to victory in Group B fixture

By James Jose

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Published: Thu 24 Oct 2013, 11:02 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:08 PM

544 minutes. That is how long New Zealand have gone without scoring a goal in Fifa Under-17 World Cup history. And that left the Kiwis check out of their hotel early as well as book themselves on the next flight on their long way back home.

A goal-mouth action during the match between New Zealand and Ivory Coast. — KT photo by Nezar Balout

Ivory Coast blanked 10-man Young All Whites 3-0 in the final Group B fixture of the Fifa Under-17 World Cup at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night.

Moussa Bakayoko scored a brace while Meite Yakou scored the other as the Little Elephants kept themselves in contention for one of the four best third-placed berths to the Round of 16. New Zealand were down to 10 men after Nick Forrester was sent off after a second booking.

The Ivory Coast were the fourth African team New Zealand were facing in the competition’s history and it seems their luck hasn’t changed so far. They had met Mali Burkina Faso and Nigeria in previous editions but had only one draw and two defeats to show from that.

The 544-minute goal duck surpassed Mali’s 471 minutes without having scored a goal. The Young All Whites now haven’t scored in six matches. New Zealand ended with no points, while the Ivory Coast have four points.

The Little Elephants were off the blocks from the word go and came close to going ahead in the very third minute of the game. Meite Yakou fired in a pile driver from the edge of the box but the New Zealand goalkeeper Zac Speedy did well to keep it out.

The Young All Whites had a chance of their own on 13 minutes when Andrew Blake shook off two of his markers and fired in. But Ivory Coast goalkeeper Seck Diabagate made a fine save.

Kouame N Guessan came close for Ivory Coast on 20 minutes but Speedy was on hand to make another good save. But the Little Elephants were not to be denied as they took the lead five minutes later. Guessan fired a low cross in and Moussa Bakayoko tapped it home from close range. New Zealand were to play the rest of the game with a man short after Nick Forrester was sent off by referee Abdulrahman Abdou of Qatar following a second yellow card.

That restricted New Zealand and they were left playing defence for the second half of the game.

Ivory Coast took advantage of that and doubled the lead just three minutes after the restart with Bakayoko getting his second goal of the game. Bakayoko sprinted in before latching on to Meite Yako’s low cross and slamming it into the net from 12 yards out.

Ivory Coast could have got the third 10 minutes later when Sherif Jimoh came with a dangerous shot. But Speedy made a brilliant diving save to deny him.

But that third goal was always a given considering the sorties the Ivory Coast forwardline made.

Franck Kessie sent a fine cross in and Yakou slotted it with ease.


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