The hosts of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, India, became one of the first sides to crash out of the tournament after a 4-0 defeat against a clearly superior Ghana side. India, who have been impressive in their debut World Cup despite losing their opening two games, had a win by a margin of at least two goals if they were to progress to the knockout stages but were dominated by a Ghana side led by captain Eric Ayiah.
Aiyah's clinical brace put Luis Norton de Matos' side to the sword before late goals from substitutes Richard Danso and Emmanuel Toku gave the African side a thumping victory margin. Ghana have now finished top of the group while Colombia finish second after their 3-1 win over USA.
de Matos surprised everyone by once again naming winger Komal Thatal on the bench but the hosts held their own against Ghana who are considered by many as one of the favorites to win the World Cup.
Some dogged defending early on gave the home crowd hope of an upset but Ghana skipper Eric Aiyah, who drew blanks in the opening two games, finally came to the party with a clinically taken brace to all but ensure India's elimination.
Aiyah's first came after goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh could only push a cross straight into his path in the first half. He completed his brace in the second half after some poor defending by the Indians who left him unmarked inside the penalty area.
The hosts would have been relieved to finish the game at 2-0 but Ghana had other ideas. Substitutes Danso and Taku scored within two minutes of each other to put gloss on the scoreline that reflected poorly on India.
Despite being cheered on by a record 50,000 plus crowd in New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, India were clearly second best and bowed out of the tournament on a whimper.
Three defeats in three games would have dampened the mood in the Indian dressing room but the players, the first Indians to ever play in a FIFA World Cup, must leave with their heads held high given the tireless displays over the past week.
India were always expected to be eliminated in the group stages itself but the performances of the team in the three matches has given hope to the beginning of a new era for Indian football.