13 Oct 2017

NZ 17s dumped out of World Cup

5:52 am on 13 October 2017

New Zealand have bowed out of the U-17 football World Cup after a 3-1 loss to African champions Mali in New Delhi.

NZ Football under-17 coach Danny Hay.

NZ Football under-17 coach Danny Hay. Photo: NZ Football

After a 1-1 draw with Turkey and 4-2 loss to Paraguay in their first two matches, the New Zealanders had to win to have any chance of advancing from the group stage.

New Zealand yet again found themselves a goal behind early on as Mali's Salam Jiddou scored one of the goals of the tournament.

Mali scored again just before half-time.

Charles Spragg got one back for New Zealand with 20 minutes left before Mali sealed the result in the 82nd minute with their third goal.

Mali progress from Group B with winners Paraguay.

The New Zealand coach Danny Hay said he'sextremely proud of his players efforts and feels there are many positives to reflect on from the campaign.

"We were in a very, very tough group and were more than aware of that," he said.

"We played against three very good sides and our attitude, application and the quality of football was at times I think better than it ever has been from a New Zealand U-17 side. I can't fault us, we were just up against some very good teams.""

"Mali are African champions for a reason and came into the tournament as one of the favourites," Hay said. "You can see the quality there and they're going to go a long way because they're a very good side."