Ghana’s U-17 World Cup hopes suffered a blow on Monday when they were beaten 1-0 by the United States at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi in their second Group A clash.
The result sees Ghana placed second on the standings on three points (following a 1-0 win over Colombia this past weekend), while USA are top on six points. Colombia and India will play the round’s second Group A match later today.
The Americans created the better chances in an evenly-balanced first half, with Ghana not quite hitting their stride in attack, where the likes of Sadiq Ibrahim, Eric Ayiah and Emmanuel Toku weren’t able to put their stamp on the game.
The Black Starlets went up a couple of gears in the second half and created numerous scoring opportunities, though they were unable to get the better of goalkeeper Justin Garces.
The missed chances came back to haunt the West Africans when the deadlock was broken in the 75th minute, with the US putting together a fine passing move which ended with substitute Ayo Akinola holding off Rashid Alhassan before sending a shot beyond the reach of Ibrahim Danlad.
Ghana threw men forward in the dying minutes to try and force a way back into the match but they found the American defence resilient and well-organised.
In fact the US looked the likelier scorers whenever they could break out on the counter attack and Akinola was guilty of spurning a great chance in the opening minutes of injury time.
The teams will wrap up Group A with a final round of matches on Thursday. Ghana will face hosts India in New Delhi, while the US will take on Colombia in Navi Mumbai.
Ghana (0) 0
USA (0) 1 (Akinola 75’)
Ghana: Danlad, Yakubu, Ayiah, Mohammed (Danso 73’), Toku (Sulley 82’), Aminu (Leveh 57’), Yusif, Mensah, Alhassan, Ibrahim, Gyamfi
USA: Garces, Lindsey, Gloster, Sands, Durkin, Ferri, Sargent, Weah (Akinola 63’), Carleton (Vassilev 81’), Dest (Watts 63’), Goslin