FIFA U-17 WC: Dominant Ghana sends Niger packing

Eric Ayiah’s goal on a penalty kick and substitute Richard Danso’s thundering volley supplied the fireworks in Ghana’s 2-0 win over Niger

Eric Ayiah of Ghana in action at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  Prashant Nakwe

 

Two-time champion Ghana brushed aside Niger 2-0 to set up a quarterfinal clash with Mali at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Two goals on either side of half-time set the seal on Ghana’s superiority in a mismatch at the D.Y. Patil stadium here on Wednesday.

Eric Ayiah’s goal on a penalty kick and substitute Richard Danso’s thundering volley supplied the fireworks.

Match Centre

Niger goalkeeper Khaled Lawali carried his league stage form into the knockout game. He had an answer for every Ghana foray in the first half and blocked shot from different angles, but his team-mate Farouk Idrissa cracked under pressure to concede a penalty, which Ayiah successfully converted with a low shot to the corner.

Ghana players celebrate after a goal at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.   -  PTI

 

Faroukh fouled again in the 84th minute, tripping Emmanuel Toku after the latter moved clear with a twisting move around the defender. The Niger goalkeeper false-stepped but was quick in his reflex action to block Eric Ayiah. But he couldn’t stop a fierce volley by Richard as ball flew in off his gloves.

Niger had its share of luck when Ghana’s Gideon Mensah missed an opportunity from close range in the 66th minute.

Soon, Niger’s Khaled Lawali was called into action. He reacted quickly to block a left-footed shot by Edmund Mensah, parrying the ball for a corner.

Ghana attacked from both flanks to keep Niger pinned to its half. Ibrahim Sulley found space on the right for a crack at goal, but Khaled kept eyes on the ball to tip it over. Ghana’s midfielders and forwards linked up with ease and helped the team put up a dominant display.

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