The Asian champions took on the African champions in a R16 clash at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on a night full of goals and emotions.
It was a perfect night set for the champions of their respective continents to face each other in the Round of 16 as Asian champions Iraq would take on their African counterparts Mali. However, a dominant Mali side showcased their speed and physicality on a night that saw six goals in a single game at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa. It was the Eagles who had the last laugh as they put five goals past an Iraqi side that lacked spirit and looked underwhelmed.
Goals from Hadji Drame and Lassana N'Diaye in the first half were enough to give Mali a comfortable lead which helped them ease into the second half in which they took control. Their hold on the game was cemented with a brilliant goal from Fode Konate with just under a quarter of the game left to go. Iraq's Ali Kareem managed to pull one back for the team in the 85th minute but Mali's passion and teamwork were evident as they scored two more goals with only five minutes left with strikes from N'Diaye and Camara to take the tally to five, leaving the Iraqi team with their heads down.
Mali will now take on the winner of the Ghana and Niger Round of 16 match in the quarter-final. Coach Jonas added ''It doesn't matter who we face we will be prepared for either, we have faced both teams in friendlies as well as the U-17 African Championship but the most important thing we learnt today is that our plan of learning from our past mistakes and finishing the chances we create worked perfectly."