France beat Japan 2-1, enter pre-quarters

Arsenal target Amine Gouiri struck a brace as France notched up a 2-1 victory over Japan to secure a pre-quarterfinal berth in the FIFA U-17

World Cup here today. Gouiri scored in the 13th and 71st minutes to lift the former champions into the knockouts, while Japan found a

consolation goal through Taisei Miyashiro in the 73rd minute at the Indira Gandhi International Stadium. Japan, though, are still in contention

from Group E, having hammered Honduras 6-1 in their tournament opener.

The first goal came when Gouiri unleashed a right-footer from the left side of the box, and the ball went through the legs of Japan goalkeeper

Kosei Tani. After falling behind, Japan did well to create several chances, the best of those opportunities being a free-kick from Keito Nakamura

that flew just wide. Nevertheless, France went into halftime keeping their lead intact.

The prolific Gouiri scored again just past the midway point in the second half, as he finished off a superb bit of inter-play with Yacine Adli in the

Japanese box. The second goal prompted a counterattack from Japan, and Taisei Miyashiro reduced the deficit through a penalty. France,

however, managed to hold on to their slender lead until the referee blew the final whistle.

Iraq blank Chile 3-0

Kolkata: Iraq rode on Mohammed Dawood’s brace to record a 3-0 win over Chile here on Wednesday. Dawood scored in the sixth and 68th

minutes with Chile’s Diego Valencia putting the ball in his own net in the 81st minute to cap off a brilliant display by the Asian U-16 champions.  

Dawood missed a glorious chance to score a hat-trick in the second-half stoppage time as his penalty was saved. — Agencies

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