Les Bleuets are in the final of the 2013 Fifa Under-20 World Cup after beating the Black Satellites for the second time in the competitionGhana’s hopes of winning the Under-20 World Cup for the second time were dashed after going down 2-1 against France in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
Florient Thauvin earned a double after the interval with Ebenezer Assifuah going for the Black Satellites’ consolation.
Thauvin opened the scoring with a neat effort in the 43rd minute which was cancelled out by Ebenezer Assifuah’s 47th minute strike. The current Best Young Player of France scored what proved to be the winner in the 75th minute.
France had the better start to the game, crafting chances for Digne and Bahebeck in the first five minutes but while the former managed to pull a save out of Ofori Antwi, Bahebeck saw his effort hit the side netting. France were dominating the game and crafted another opportunity but some good defending from Addico saw the defender block Sanogo’s effort before Antwi showed some good reflexes to smother Sanogo’s rebound which look destined for the net.
Les Bleuets saw their chances decrease after that though they continued to dominate the game mainly through their superior strength, but their opener came as a result of a piece of supreme skill from Thauvin who managed to slip past his man before going round the Black Satellites goalkeeper to slot home in the 44th minute. Despite an Acheampong header nearly going in about a minute later the French looked comfortable seeing out their lead till the half time whistle.
The Ghanaians who will have probably been looking to stabilise themselves made a flying start to the second half reminiscent of France’s start to the game. Assifuah levelled the scores with an effort from the edge of the box after some good hold up play. Acheampong and Michael Anaba then each managed to draw a save out of Areola who showed great reflexes to get to Acheampong’s curling free kick.
The resulting corner called the youngster into duty again as he had to be sharp to get to Anaba’s header. Whatever Sellas Tetteh told his boys at half time seemed to have worked as they looked more comfortable in possession though France’s superior physicality still showed. France should have gone ahead in the 73rd minute as Bahebeck found himself free on the counter, but they failed to make it count.
The French did manage to restore their lead less than a minute later as Thauvin scored a second from range after another good run. The Ghanaians’ quest for an equaliser was boosted by a sending off of Samuel Umtiti after receiving a second yellow card.
Just as in the first half, the French went into defensive mode seeing out to the result with the only threat they faced being from an Assifuah strike from range which Areola got to but they managed to hold on to book a place in the final.
Ghana, 2009 champions, will face either Iraq or Uruguay in the third place play-off.