Semi Finals: Ghana-Ivory Coast; South Africa Gambia Banjul, Gambia, May 13, The Black Starlets of Ghana on Friday scaled through to the semi finals of the on going Sixth Africa Under-17 Tournament with a lone goal victory over host nation, The Gambia at the Independence Stadium. Ghana secured the much needed win in the 12th minute of the game through Opoku Agyeman.
Agyeman, the leading marksman of the team wasted no time in tapping in George Appiah's pass to increase his personal tally to three which eventually granted Ghana a semi final berth. The win, however did not come on a silver platter as the Ghanaians at the end of the day went into the caution book on six occasions with James Tagoe, Jonathan Quartey, Opoku Agyeman, David Telfer, Korley Kennedy and George Appiah as the victims even though some of bookings were needless. Playing with five new faces to the stating line up, the Ghanaians though remained under constant pressure after the goal but this time round had a more stable defence and quite a well organised midfield. This made it difficult for the Gambians to create any clear cut chance in the game, whilst the Ghanaians came closer in the 18th and 24th minutes with Agyeman and Tagoe wasting their chances. The Gambians only chance in the half however came in the 26th minute but Jallow Ousman had his shot cut across the goal post without a connector and followed up their 29th minute goal disallowed by Cameroonian referee, Martin Zing Omgba for an infringement. The trend remained same till the close of the first half but the Gambians became more aggressive in the second half and raided the Ghanaian area on several occasions without result thus giving an indication that the Ghanaians were destined to run away with the lone goal. The Gambians never relented in their effort to cancel the lead in order to appease their voiceferous fans but Jerry Akaminko and Quartey who this time had a good combination in central defence, thwarted the efforts of their opponents to keep their lead intact. In spite of the victory over The Gambians, the Ghanaian qualified along side the host nation and now await the winners of group B. Coach David Duncan who after the match removed his shirt to display an inscription "I owe it to Jesus" on his underwear, said in a post match interview that the victory had nothing to do with any tactics or psychology but a pure manifestation of God's work. "I believe firmly in Jesus Christ and he had made this victory possible". Line Up, Starlets: Michael Addo, Kennedy Korley, Ernest Danso, Jerry Akaminko, Jonathan Quartey, David Telfer, George Appiah, James Tagoe, Opoku Agyeman, Sadat Bukari/Abubakri Awudu and Charles Boateng.
Fixtures, results and tables from the African Under-17 Championship in the Gambia. GROUP A:
P W D L GF GA Pts Ghana 3 2 0 1 5 4 6 Gambia 3 2 0 1 4 3 6 Burkina Faso 3 1 0 2 3 5 3 Mali 3 1 0 2 7 7 3 07/05/05: Gambia 1-0 Burkina Faso
07/05/05: Mali 2-3 Ghana 10/05/05: Burkina Faso 2-1 Ghana
10/05/05: Mali 2-3 Gambia 13/05/05: Burkina Faso 1-3 Mali
13/05/05: Gambia 0-1Ghana