The Black Starlets of Ghana are through to the next round of the ongoing FIFA U17 World Cup in India thanks to a big win against the host nation but that came after a nervous start from the young Ghanaians.
It was the host team that started on a high note with a delightful inter-positional play but Ghana’s defence stood strong as the Indian juniors did not get the breakthrough they looked for.
A brace from captain Eric Ayiah – the striker who had struggled to find his way in the tournament going into this game – put Ghana up by the 52nd minute after the captain had opened the scoring ten minutes earlier. Fair play to Ayiah – he did the necessary but has to improve with his movements and efficiency in the final third as the team progresses into the deeper ends of the World Cup. His first goal was served by Sadiq Ibrahim – arguably the best Ghanaian player at this tournament – before Arko-Mensah assisted him to realized his brace.
Indai searched to get back into the game but that would never be as Richard Danso came off the bench to score Ghana’s third of the day with his goal timed at 86th minute to kill it for the two-time U-17 World Cup champions.
Paa Kwesi Fabin’s boys were not yet done with India as substitute Emmanuel Toku – the player who received the armband from the substituted captain Eric Ayiah – increased the number of goals to four a minute later after Danso’s goal.
Colombia, however, rather surprisingly, defeated USA 3-1 meaning in the other group match of interest and now the South Americans along with Ghana and the USA have all finished the group play on 6 points for each one of these three teams – but it is the Ghanaians that top the group thanks to a better goal difference of 4 goals. India are exiting having lost all three home games.
Ghana and Colombia qualify automatically from the group whilst the USA join the next round as one of the four best third-placed teams.
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