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15.09.2005 Football News

WAFU finals: Satellites play Senegal

By GNA

Accra, Sept 15, GNA - Ghanaians were made to relive the glorious past when their junior teams dominated soccer internationally, after the national under-20 team, Black Satellites played some delectable football to thumb their Beninios counterparts 4-0 in a four-nation WAFU Tournament that commenced at Ohene Djan Sports Stadium on Thursday.

The three-day tournament, which formed part of the 30th anniversary of the Economic Community of West African Country (ECOWAS), will see the Ghanaians play their counterpart from Senegal in the finals on Saturday.

The Senegalese who played in the opening match managed to squeeze past their enthusiastic counterparts from Niger 4-2 on penalties after the match ended goalless.

The winner of the four-nation tournament would proceed to Abuja Nigeria to play the finals of finals next month.

The Satellites, dominated by players from the GT Premier League, started the encounter on a blistering note immediately restricting their Beninios counterparts to their own half of the field as Anthony Annan and Mumuni Bawa run the show from the middle.

Sensing danger from the way the Ghanaians started, the Beninios massed up at the back to thwart all attempts by the Satellites to take an early lead.

But the Ghanaians urged on by brass band music from the national supporters Union managed to break the Beninios back line in the 10th minute when Mark Amofa was put through in an intelligent defensive splitting pass but the striker hesitated allowing the opponents to recover to clear their lines.

Two minute later Prince Tagoe, was set up in a similar way by Mumuni, but this time round the Beninios goalkeeper was alive with his responsibility as he rushed out of his goal to clear the ball to touch before the long legs of Tagoe could get to it.

The Beninios resistances lasted till the 40th minute when a momentary lapse, in concentration in their goal area allowed Tagoe to pounce on a loose ball to fire into the net.

In the second half, contrary to expectation that the Satellites were going to off the accelerator from the scorching pace they went through the first half, rather raised their game forcing their opponents to resort to dangerous tackles to keep in touch.

The referee was left with no option than to send-off Nassirou Youssouf in the 48th minute for a scything tackle on Anthony Annan. With the numerical advantage nothing could stop the marauding attackers of the Satellites who doubled Ghana's lead in the 55th minute through Amofa who was left on marked to run alone for about 40 metres before scoring on the second attempt after the Beninios goalkeeper Arnaud Atindokpo had spilled his first attempt.

Alex Asamoah came in for injured Amofa in the 69th minute and his inclusion, added, more bite to the Ghanaian attack as his bulldozing style of play created a lot of problems for the Beninios. The satellites after taking the two nil lead relaxed and resorted to spraying the ball among themselves in the midfield and occasionally testing the over stretched Beninios defence.

Prince Tagoe who eventually won the player of the match award took advantage of a misunderstanding between two Beninios players before dancing his way past two other defenders in the box and fire his shot into the net in the 74th minute.

Deflated after the third goal, the confused defence of the Beninios under-20 team allowed Prince Tagoe to sneak into the penalty box to complete his hat trick when he latched unto a cross from Asamoah to complete the riot.

In the opening match, Senegal fought out a goalless encounter with their counterparts from Niger forcing the match to be decided on penalty kicks.

The drab encounter littered by many tackle saw Ghanaian referee Justus Agbeko, flashing a yellow card on a number of occasions to maintain order.

During the penalty kicks, Ali Yacouba and Amadou Olisane converted their kicks while Amadou Ibrahim and Ide Abdoulaye wasted their kick for the Beninios. Senegal on the other hand scored their first four kicks converted by Fall El-Haji Anane, Mendy Pierre, Ly Yoro Lamine and Diuof Nor to book a place in the finals.

Ghana's Line up: Kotei Blankson, Daniel Asamoah, Harrison Afful, Emmanuel Anarfi, Mumuni Bawa/Francis Mantey, Anthony Annan, Mark Amofa/Alex Asamoah, Obeng Darko/Danladi Sherif and Nkrumah Douglas.

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