Mali ‘s bid to reach a second straight Under-17 World Cup final ended in Mumbai when beaten 3-1 by Spain, who will meet England in Saturday’s final.
The European side led Mali 2-0 at half-time thanks to a penalty and a slide-rule finish from captain Abel Ruiz.
Mali rallied, but Cheick Doucoure’s fine strike was not given even though replays showed it had crossed the line.
A moment of controversy arose in the second semi-final of the FIFA U17 World Cup in India between Mali and Spain at Mumbai on Wednesday.
An Abel Ruiz brace had fired the Spaniards to a 2-0 lead in the first-half and the Africans threw the kitchen sink in the second half as they attempted to find a way back into the tie.
The African champions had reasons to feel aggrieved when in the 61st-minute midfielder Cheick Doucoure’s powerful long-range shot found its way past Spanish goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez but the referee failed to call the goal despite the ball clearly crossing over the line.
Moments later, Ferran Torres headed Spain further ahead before Lassana N’Diaye grabbed a late consolation.
The goal was his fifth of the tournament for the African champions.
Runners-up in 2015 to eventual champions Nigeria, Mali will now play Brazil in a third-place play-off in Kolkata on Saturday.
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