New Delhi, October 7: Friday was a historic day for Indian and as well as for Crores of fans who had been anxiously waiting for their country to host a FIFA U-17 World Cup for the first ever time. The whole world was eagerly waiting for the FIFA U-17 World Cup to get a kickstart and so Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the sober inaugural ceremony, PM Modi met the Indian Football Team ahead of their first FIFA under 17 World Cup match in New Delhi and also felicitated Indian football legends.
To make this day more special and promote the sports massively, the Indian government distributed over 20,000 tickets free to bring schoolchildren to watch the country’s first World Cup match. Prime Minister Narendra Modi felicitated former captains of the Indian football team including Sunil Chhetri, Bhaichung Bhutia and PK Banerjee. Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore and many other dignitaries were present on this occasion.
The Under-17 World Cup, the first-ever FIFA event India is hosting, will be played in six cities - New Delhi, Navi Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Kochi and Margao - from October 6 to 28. Unfortunately, India’s debut at a FIFA competition ended in a 3-0 loss after the FIFA U-17 World Cup hosts fell to the USA in their Group A opener in New Delhi.
A passionate crowd at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium roared the home side on throughout the duration of this historic match for Indian football. However, it was John Hackworth’s Stars and Stripes that showed their qualities in getting their tournament account off to a winning start.
USA’s match-winner came from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark. Josh Sargent picked up where he left off at the U-20 World Cup in the Korea Republic earlier this year by converting the spot-kick after the American captain was fouled in the box by Jitendra Singh. The Stars and Stripes doubled their lead shortly after the break when Chris Durkin struck home a USA corner that deflected past India goalkeeper Dheeraj Moirangthem.
The Americans wrapped up a convincing victory on 84 minutes through Andrew Carleton moments after India struck the crossbar with their best chance of the match. India will play their second Group A match against Colombia in Delhi at 8 PM on October 9.
Earlier, in the tournament opener, two-time champions Ghana began their campaign with a 1-0 victory over Colombia. In Group B fixtures at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, New Zealand drew with Turkey 1-1 while Paraguay beat Mali 3-2.
Goa leg of the cup will start today at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda near Madgaon. In two Group C games, heavyweights Germany will take on Costa Rica at 5 PM, while Iran is scheduled to play Guinea at 8 PM. Germany and Costa Rica are the tournament’s most experienced teams. In the Group D encounters at Kochi, Brazil will face Spain, and DPR Korea will play against Nigeria.