Paraguay continued to shine and recorded their third win on the trot when they thrashed a struggling Turkey 3-1 in a Group B match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Thursday. With this win, the South American side topped the pool with nine points. Earlier, they had defeated Mali, one of the title contenders, 3-2, and New Zealand 4-2, at the D Y Patil stadium.
Giovanni Bogado (41st minute), Fernando Cardozo (43rd) scored in the first half for Paraguay, while Antonio Galeano (61st) struck their third goal after the break to seal a thumping win.
Paraguay took the lead after missing a penalty. Bogado opened the scoring with a free-kick — the midfielder curled the ball from the spot and it zoomed into the left corner of the goal post, giving the Turkey custodian no chance.
Two minutes later, a back-heal from Cardozo did the trick for Paraguay, who went 2-0 up. On a cross from Blas Aroma, Cardozo displayed exceptional skills and flicked the ball with his left foot, which went past the goalie.
Bogado took a corner which was blocked by Turkey’s defence, and Galeano shot outside the box, which deflected off Melih Gokcimen and went to the bottom right corner of the goal, as their keeper stood on his spot. This was Paraguay’s third goal.
Earlier, in the second minute, Paraguay failed to convert a penalty, awarded after Turkey defender Emirhan Civelek brought down Amora. His teammate, Anibal Vega, who scored a brace in their last game, failed to convert, as the Turkey custodian dived to his left and ensued that the South American side did not get the lead and the initial advantage.
In the 10th minute, Turkey had a chance to take go ahead, but a header from their striker Malik Karaamhet was easily saved by Paraguay goalkeeper Diego Huesca.
In the 15th minute, off a brilliant pass, Vega shot above the bar, even as both sides seemed eager to open their account.
Till their first goal, Paraguay’s best chance came in the 37th minute when Amora took the ball inside the box and tried to curl one to the far post, only to see his shot miss the target.
A small break for Paraguay helped them bring back their aggression, which was missing in the first 35 minutes of play. The South Americans surely did not miss their star players, Alan Rodriquez and Leonardo Sanchez, as the others chipped in.
Throughout the game, Turkey had their chances but, on most occasions, their players shot above the bar or wide or it was saved by the Paraguay goalkeeper.
It was only in the additional time of the second half, that Turkey’s Kerem Kesgin dribbled past the opposition defenders and scored, which reduced the margin of defeat.