Ghana defeated African rivals Niger 2-0 in an all-African Round of 16 clash at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 in Navi Mumbai today[Wednesday, October 18]. The win earned the Black Starlets a quarter-final clash against another African opponent Mali on Saturday, October 21, 2017 in Guwahati.
Ghana dominated the first half, creating 13 attempts to Niger’s lone effort. The West Africans created the first chance on 25 minutes, as Edmund Arko-Mensah’s powerful strike produced a top save from Niger goalkeeper Khaled Lawali.
The Ghanaians had to wait until first-half stoppage time to finally break through; as they were awarded a penalty after Eric Ayiah was brought down in the Niger box by Farouk Idrissa. The Ghana captain stepped up to convert the spot-kick for his third goal of the tournament.
The Black Starlets kept pressing forward after the break, with Gideon Mensah missing a great opportunity to double Ghana’s lead from close range. Ayiah could have had a second penalty goal after Idrissu fouled Emmanuel Toku in the Niger box, but Lawali was equal to his spot-kick effort.
The second goal arrived in the final moments, as substitute Richard Danso’s strike proved too strong for Lawali to keep out of his net, as Ghana capped a convincing performance at the Dr. DY Patil Stadium.
…with Gottlieb Baako
Today Newspaper (Ghana)