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U-17 WC roundup: U.S. cruises in opener, Paraguay tops Mali

An exciting first day at the U-17 World Cup saw lots of good play, including the United States, who comfortably handled tournament hosts India.

Meanwhile, fellow Group A side Ghana picked up a win as well to give the Black Stars three points.

In Group B, Paraguay has taken early command of the group thanks to a second-half penalty kick which gave the South American side a win over Mali.

Here’s a look at the action from around the opening day at the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

Group A

Colombia 0-1 Ghana

Sadiq Ibrahim gave the young Black Stars the lead on 39 minutes, but it was certainly a back-and-forth match in the opener. Each goalkeeper was tested on several occasions, with both sides making three saves in the match.

India 0-3 USMNT U-17s -- (Match report)

Josh Sargent has been highly-billed amongst Americans, and he delivered on Friday. The soon-to-be Werder Bremen attacker gave the U.S. the lead on half an hour when he was brought down inside the penalty area and subsequently finished his spot-kick. John Hackworth’s side dominated the game’s chances, limiting the hosts to just one shot on target through the first half. Chris Durkin and Andrew Carleton also got in on the scoring for the U.S., giving the Baby Yanks a massive lift to start the tournament.

Group B

New Zealand 1-1 Turkey

Max Mata had himself an up-and-down day for the All Whites, but his second-half goal will be his side’s primary care as New Zealand managed a draw against Turkey. The Turks went ahead when Ahmed Kutucu headed home a corner kick in the 18th minute, however, Mata leveled the match 13 minutes into the second stanza. The Onehunga Sports midfielder picked up a second yellow card in stoppage time, though, leaving New Zealand with 10 men to finish the match.

Paraguay 3-2 Mali

It was back and forth for much of the first half, but a penalty kick after halftime helped give Paraguay all three points in their opening match. Alan Rodriguez capitalized from the penalty spot in the 55th minute to break the 2-2 deadlock and gave La Albirroja the lead for good.