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14.05.2005 Football News

Ministry congratulates Starlets'

By GNA

Accra, May 14, GNA - The Ministry of Education and Sports on Saturday sent a congratulatory message to the national under-17 soccer team, the Black Starlets, a day after the team's heroic victory over host, The Gambia, in the final group A match at the ongoing Sixth African Under-17 Championship, urging them to go for the ultimate. The Starlets chalked a slender 1-0 victory before a packed emotionally charged Gambia home fans to top the four-team group albeit on goals difference to book a place in the semi-finals together with The Gambia on six points apiece.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, a Deputy Minister of Education and Sports praised the team and the technical handlers for demonstrating a true "footballing character" to hold unto an early lead till the final whistle. It said if the discipline and resilience exhibited in the Ghana-Mali encounter and the game against The Gambia could be replicated in "our next match, I have no doubt in mind that the Starlets would win the ultimate."

The ministry was particularly amazed at the bravery and the mental toughness displayed by the young Ghanaians in front of "such an intimidating home crowd."

The statement, however, cautioned the team against complacency, reminding them that, "what is important is for you to qualify for the World Cup in Peru and any other achievement could best be described as the icing on the cake."

The top three teams qualify for the World Cup, a competition that the Ghanaians have missed for some years now.

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