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01.02.2009 Football News

Ghana win third AYC trophy

Ghana win third AYC trophy

Ghana won the AYC in Rwanda Ghana won the Africa Youth Championship on Sunday after beating giants Cameroon 2-0 in the final in Kigali.

Striker Ransford Osei scored both goals in either half to secure the Black Satellites third continental title for African U-20 football.

The Israel-based forward on both occasions combined with Asante Kotoko's enterprising wing-back Samuel Inkoom to give Ghana their third triumph after titles in 1993 and 1999.

Osei latched onto a cross from the right from Inkoom   after the defender had made light work of three Cameroonians.

The Black Satellites repeated the previous effort with Inkoom breaking free on the right to set-up Osei, who evaded his markers before wrong-footing the goalkeeper to finish as the tournament's top scorer with seven goals.

Captain Andre Dede Ayew received the trophy from the president of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame to spark wild celebrations for the West African country both in Kigali, Accra and elsewhere in Ghana.

The players deserve to thoroughly celebrate their win as they dominated the physical Cameroonians throughout the game with excellent passes in good technical ability.

But it was the Young Lions who showed early signs of clinching the title but the Ghanaian defence marshalled by Jonathan Mensah and Daniel Addo were resolute to deny the marauding Brice Owona.

Ghana settled soon after and started dominating the midfield with Gladson Awako and Agyemang Badu foiling Cameroonian attempts while Osei and Dominic Adiyiah caused some concerns for their opponents.

The Black Satellites dominance allowed wing-backs Inkoom and Addy to move forward with consummate ease.

Inkoom took advantage of such forays forward after a corner kick before dribbling past three Cameroonians to spot Osei in an empty space.

The Maccabi Haifa striker made no mistake with a simple tap-in which confirmed his status as probably the best youth striker in Africa.

While Inkoom looked effective throughout the afternoon his slip-up in box nearly led to an equaliser in the second half.

The Kotoko defender chested the ball to goalkeeper Agyei who was already off his mark but the timely acrobatic bicycle kick from in the nick of time saved the Satellites.

The Ghanaians were not cowed and continued with their positive play. Inkoom was at hand again to send in a cross from the right but the onrushing Osei and Adiyiah failed to connect which brought some relief to the Cameroonians.

But the Young Lions were not to escape the well-rehearsed strategy when Adiyiah slalomed past two Cameroonians leaving Inkoom free on the right.

The Kotoko wing-back sent in an inviting cross to Osei who was hiding behind his markers but he outwitted the Cameroonians before wrong-footing the goalkeeper to seal the victory.

The win is a massive boost for the new Ghana president John Evans Atta Mills who had given a massive backing to the team to ensure a good start to his presidency.

The former football administrator had increased the team's bonuses to boost them and the paid off with impressive performances since the start of the tournament.

Ghana beat Mali, Rwanda and South Africa after drawing 1-1 in the opening game with Cameroon.

The performance of most of the Black Satellites will surely spark interest from big European clubs while giving the Ghana Football Association board led by Kwasi Nyantakyi a major title since they took office four years ago.

It has also established coach Sellas Tetteh as one of the heavyweights in the profession after several years as an assistant coach with the Black Stars.

Tetteh's major assignment now is to build a stronger team for the World Youth Championship in Egypt in September and he will be boosted by the returned from injury of midfielder Rabiu Mohammed and Real Madrid defender Daniel Opare.

Other foreign-based forwards like Sadick Adams and Ishmael Yartey could return to the fold if they impress with their clubs in Europe.

This will also serve at the base for Ghana's Olympic team at the 2012 Olympics in London while providing players for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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