Hamidou Makalou scored an incredible individual goal as Mali swept aside Argentina to clinch the bronze medal at the FIFA U-17 World Cup™.
Ibrahim Diarra and Mamadou Doumbia were also on target for the dominant African side in Surakarta.
The outstanding Diarra – unquestionably one of the stars of Indonesia 2023 – opened the scoring on nine minutes. The Mali captain expertly controlled a lofted pass from Sekou Kone then placed a precision strike into the bottom corner.
Mali continued to control the game and got the second goal their efforts deserved on the stroke of half-time. Makalou was the creator, with his free-kick delivery headed home by Doumbia.
Mali extended their advantage after the break with a quite astonishing goal. Makalou alighted on the ball just inside the box, nutmegged Tobias Palacio and, with one swift body-swerve, side-stepped Dylan Gorosito and goalkeeper Jeremias Florentin before tapping into an empty net.
Argentina’s Claudio Echeverri – who came on as a half-time substitute – thought he had reduced the deficit with a neat finish shortly after the hour, but he had strayed offside.
Makalou almost scored a spectacular second when his thunderous free-kick smashed off the underside of the crossbar. There were to be no further goals, however, as Mali comfortably saw out a mightily impressive victory.
Ibrahim Diarra scored in each of Mali’s final five matches at Indonesia 2023.
Argentina 0-3 Mali | Play-off for Third Place
Goals: Ibrahim Diarra (9), Mamadou Doumbia (45), Hamidou Makalou (48)
Player of the Match: Hamidou Makalou (MLI)
“We’re happy. We would have liked to take home the cup, but this bronze medal is very nice. During the match, we stuck together, and I dedicate this victory to the Malian people.” Ibrahim Diarra, Mali goalscorer