Mali defeated Uzbekistan 3-0 to begin their FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign, with Mamadou Doumbia scoring a hat-trick.
In spite of Ozodbek Uktamov’s valiant attempt to clear the ball off the line, Doumbia opened the score at the halfway point by deftly circling custodian Muhammadyusuf Sobirov and slotting home.
After the excellent Ibrahim Kanate was knocked down in the box in minute 72, he doubled their lead from the penalty spot.
And to cap off an incredible debut game, Doumbia promptly finished his treble with a ferocious close-range goal.
2015 runners-up Mali dominated the game early on and created many of opportunities.
In addition to dazzling striker Kanate and hat-trick hero Doumbia, skipper Ibrahim Diarra had a significant impact.
He nearly scored a magnificent goal himself, but his low drive, following a frantic run, cannoned off the post.
To their credit, Uzbekistan persevered in their fight but found it difficult to contain their proficient opponents.
The Asian team’s next match is against Canada on Monday, and Mali plays Spain that same day.