Mali shocks tournament favorite Ghana to successfully defend U17 Cup of Nations title

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Mali became the first country to defend the Africa U17 Championship after beating tournament favourites Ghana 1-0 in Libreville on Sunday.

The Black Starlets could not win Ghana its third continental tile after finishing second at the 2017 African Youth Championship.

The Malians were the better side in the game having dominated play throughout the entire proceedings.

Mamadou Samaki’s strike on the 21st minute was what separated the two in the thrilling final clash in Libreville on Sunday evening.

Mali opened scoring on the 21st minute following a follow up strike by Mamadou Samaki after Ghana goalkeeper Danladi Ibrahim had saved a spot kick for his side.

The Malians nine minutes later were awarded another spot kick and Asante Kotoko gloves man Danladi Ibrahim again made a superb save to rescue the Starlets from conceding their second on the day.

Ghana was wasteful in the first half after the players’ individualistic style of play denied the team an equalizer despite creating several chances in the first 45 minutes.

Mali took advantage of Ghana’s defensive frailties to punish Ghana in severely in the first half but thanks to Danlad who impressive performance ensured that only a goal entered his net.

Coach Paa Kwesi Fabian had to make his first substitution in the crunch by bringing on Edmund Arko- Mensah or Rashid Alhassan on after 72 minutes of action,

Bismark Terry Owusu was also introduced into the game on the 81st minute when he replaced Abdul Raham Yusif with Ibrahim Sulley coming on for Idriss Mohammed two minutes later.

Meanwhile Guinea beat Niger 3-1 to win Bronze medal earlier before Ghana’s grand finale match against Mali.

Ghana XI against Mali 
Danlad Ibrahim
Najeeb Yakubu
Gideon Acquah
John Otu
Abdul Razak Yusif
Faisal Osman
Gabriel Leveh
Mohammed Iddriss
Eric Ayiah
Emmanuel Toku
Rashid Alhassan

 

 

 

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