Ghana secure semifinal berth and World Cup spot

Ghana secure semifinal berth and World Cup spot
Eric Ayiah of Ghana challenged by Elian Christely Boueni Mayobolo of Gabon during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Ghana and Gabon at the Port Gentil Stadium, Gabon on 17 May 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Wednesday May 17, 2017. 21:45

Ghana have secured a semifinal berth at the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations and a place in the U-17 World Cup after defeating Gabon 5-0 in Port Gentil on Wednesday.

The Black Starlets top Group A with a full haul of six points from two matches and are guaranteed to finish in the top two. The host team, in contrast, have been mathematically eliminated.

Ghana took some time to find the kind of penetration and power they showed in their opening match, but they gradually fell into rhythm and claimed the lead on 29 minutes when Eric Ayiah opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

Just four minutes later they doubled their lead, with Emmanuel Toku finding the back of the net to ensure Ghana went into the half-time break with a 2-0 advantage.

Within 21 minutes of the second half, Ghana had extended their advantage to four goals - Ayiah and Toku both brought up their braces with strikes in the 58th and 66th respectively.

The fifth and final goal arrived in the 74th minute to see Paa Kwesi Fabin’s team go one better than their 4-0 win over Cameroon on the weekend.

Group A will wrap up with two concurrent games on May 20: Gabon will face Cameroon in Port Gentil, while Ghana will battle Guinea for first place on the standings in Libreville.

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