Amine Gouiri fired a brace as France overpowered debutants New Caledonia 7-1 in a lopsided Group E opener of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Sunday.
France pumped in as many as six goals in the first half. An early own goal from Bernard Iwa in the fifth minute was a sign of things to come as Gouiri (19th and 33rd minutes), Maxence Caqueret (40th) and own goal from Kiam Wanesse in the 43rd minute killed the contest.
New Caledonia, a French-administered territory, improved their performance in the second half.
Even though France dropped their guard in the second half, their wide players were relentless and they kept attacking.
Early into the second half, New Caledonia goalkeeper Kecine dived to his right to save a penalty from Caqueret.
From this moment, Kecine grew in confidence and made few fine saves.
In the 90th minute, Sidri Wadenges scored goal from a header to mark New Caledonia’s maiden goal at a FIFA tournament.
But a minute later, Wilson Isidor scored France’s seventh goal to round off the scoring tally.
France now face Asian powerhouse Japan in their next group games, while New Caledonia meet Honduras.