FIFA U-17: India bows out with Ghana hiding as Ayiah bags brace

Ghana Skipper Eric Ayiah bagged a brace and goals from substitute duo Richard Danso and Emmanuel Toku sealed the deal as India bowed out of the World Cup with a 4-0 loss.

Ghana's Eric Ayiah, (Center) celebrates with his team-mates after scoring during his side's 4-0 win against India on Thursday.   -  AP

India’s tryst with World Cup football ends in a defeat to a much superior side as it crashed to a 4-0 defeat to Ghana on Thursday.

The writing was always on the wall, so as to say, as Ghana is arguably the best side in Group A. And the disparity in class was evident as the Black Starlets dominated proceedings from start to finish.

Sure, India had patches of good possession but a Ghana side packed with speed and power was never going to be overrun.


Skipper Eric Aiyah bagged a brace, and goals from substitute duo Richard Danso and Emmanuel Toku added the icing on the cake but it could have been much more.

Signs were ominous from the very beginning and Ghana even put the ball in the back of the net in the 6 minute, only for it to be ruled out for offside. Ghana’s box of tricks were in full display, as the African side troubled India with its pace, power and stretch of play.

Despite winning aerial duels and producing chances by the dozen, Ghana showed a lack of killer instinct in front of goal which doesn’t come as too much of a shock going by its first two games – 1 goal from 2 matches.

A slew of missed chances forced Ghana to change its game plan and in the 23 minute left-back Rashid Alhassan took aim from 25+ yards, narrowly missing ‘keeper Dheeraj Singh’s crossbar.

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In the 30 minute it was Isaac Gyamfi’s turn to test Dheeraj from range and the midfielder was a hair strand away from giving Ghana the lead in spectacular fashion.

Ghana did break the deadlock in the 43 minute, just seconds after going close, through captain Eric Ayiah. A neat move on the right flank saw midfielder Sadiq Ibrahim in space inside the box and he squared the ball for Ayiah.

However, Dheeraj got to the ball first but he could only parry it to Ayiah, who stabbed home from six yards out.

Ghana coach Samuel Fabin said after the win, "The scoreline is a reflection of our performance. Of course we could have scored more but I’m happy with the performance.

"India didn’t pose any threat to our team like they did in the previous matches. They have some room for improvement."

He added: “Our team will be safe back home after today’s game (he laughs). After losing to the USA we got some abuse from back home. Had we lost today I would have had to apply for Indian citizenship!"

India was unable to create the sort of chances it did in the first two games and this could be owing to fatigue. And Ghana made the host pay for not posing any sort of threat in the 52 minute, with Eric Ayiah doubling his tally and Ghana’s lead.

With India starting to tire, Arko-Mensah beat two Indian players on the left side before squaring the ball towards the centre. Ayiah side footed it past a hapless Dheeraj and virtually ensured safety.

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Richard Danso and Emmanuel Toku rounded off the scoring but the 52000 plus Indian supporters never stopped supporting.

After the referee blew the full time whistle, the Boys in Blue collapsed to the ground overwhelmed by what just happened. After regaining composure, coach Luis Norton de Matos led the team to a lap around the pitch with the supporters showing their appreciation.

Ghana leapfrogged Colombia and USA to top Group A with all three sides on six points.

India, meanwhile, might have lost the game but the teenagers have won the heart of the public. 

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