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24.10.2004 Football News

Satllites fail to qualify for Benin 2005

By Daniel Kenu, GNA Special Correspondent
Satllites fail to qualify for Benin 2005
Abidjan, Oct 25, GNA - Ghanaians' worse fears were confirmed on Sunday when the national under-20 soccer team, the Black satellites, failed to qualify for the Africa Youth Championship slated for Benin next February. Though the Satellites managed to draw 1-1 in the second leg, final eliminator at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium, they missed out on a 1-2 aggregate having lost the first encounter 0-1 at the Accra Sports Stadium barely three weeks ago. A key feature in Ghanaian football in recent times, poor goal scoring, was re-enacted as the striker fumbled in front goal especially in the first half. Leading goal scorer in Ghana's national premier league, Sam Yeboah who was one of four key players grafted into the team after the first leg debacle opened the scores in the 15th minutes completing a swift one-two move with colleague Prince Tagoe.
He squeezed the ball from an acute angle into the far right corner of the post, a spectacular act greeted with a deafening cheers from the teaming Ghanaian fans mobilised by the Asante Kotoko Circle 140 together with the popular One man Supporter .
However, prior to the goal, Felix Baffoe failed to shoot Ghana into the lead in the first minute.
After racing with a through ball from the right flank he decided to lay on a pass for Yeboah to complete the move when he could have shot at goal himself. Yeboah, was a culprit in the second and 35th minutes as his "me-and-you" shots were thwarted by goalkeeper Angbanvincent De Paul.
Apart from Yeboah who looked very aggressive and a thorn in the flesh of the Ivorian defenders, his colleague attackers were not forth coming as Tagoe looked too feeble to contest the 50-50 balls while skipper Michael Helegbe was out of colour. But the drum-beating and foot-stumping Ghanaian supporters were hopeful that the players would recover from their poor shooting ability after recess but unfortunately, their performance rather slumped as they allowed the Ivorians to dominate play.
The Ivorains side started the second half a rejuvenated team as one of their three foreign legions Zahiri Yedi brought on new zeal into their attacking machinery.
Barely two minutes after coming on, he secured his side a valuable penalty, albeit a doubtful one after he was challenged with a clumsy tackle by defener Douglas Nkrumah in the 48trh minute.
The kick was perfectly converted by Diaby Abdramane, scorer of the lone goal in the Accra encounter.
Togolese referee Djaoupe Kokou failed to reciprocate a seemingly favour he gave to the Ivorians when he refused to ward a glaring penalty in favour of the Satellites in the 72nd minute when Yeboah's shot hit the hand of a defender in the penalty area.
Coach Francis Oti Akenteng brought on Michael Akuffo, Osei Kofi and Dramani Aminu for Helegbe, Baffoe and Tagoe but it never worked out for the team. Line Up of the Ghanaian side : Patrick Antwi, Kwesi Brobie Ansah, Douglas Nkrumah, Bawa Mumuni, Iddrisu Yahaya, Danile Asamoah, Anthony Annan, Felix Baffoe /Osei Kofi, Prince Tagoe /Dramani Aminu, Michael Helegbe/ Michael Akuffo, Sam Yeboah.


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