Canada 2-1 Ghana: Already qualified Black Maidens stumble

The Black Maidens of Ghana tasted their first defeat of the ongoing Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica after a grueling fight with Canada in their last group game

Ghana’s hope of ending the group stage of the Fifa Under-17 Women’s World Cup with a clean sheet failed to materialise after conceding two first half goals against Canada in the wee hours of Sunday.

The Black Maidens, who have already qualified for the quarter-finals of the tournament ahead of this tie, went down under 10 minutes despite starting the game more determined. Marie Levasseur opened the scoring with a brilliant cull beyond the reach of the keeper Azume Adams when Ghanaian defender Belinda Anane failed to thwart her first attempt.

They almost made it two within seconds when a Canadian player rattled the crossbar as goalkeeper Adams struggled to parry the danger. The Black Maidens came close to pull level in the 36th minute after Issaka had crossed the ball into the vital area. Forster spilled the ball as Janet Ayieyam mounted pressure, however, the follow-up from striking partner Adobea was blocked by a defender.

Levasseur grabbed her second of the day to double Canada’s lead with five minutes to end the first half. She lurked behind the Ghana defence and headed the ball in following a good-looking cross from Adams’ right hand side.

Coach Beverly Priestman’s charges had to play most part of the second half with 10 women after St-Georges had been sent off for bringing down Ghana’s Adobea in the 50th minute. However, Amfobea was unable to score from the resultant free kick from the edge of the box.

The Canadians nearly increased their tally thereafter when Borgmann was reached from a through ball in the box. Adams fumbled but was fortunate to see the ball going for corner.

Ghana could have pulled one back after keeper Forster’s weak pass landed before Issaka. The lanky Ghanaian winger chipped the ball, but the opposing shot-stopper recovered to neutralise the danger.

Substitute Sandra Owusu Ansah grabbed a consolation for Evans Adotey’s side when she beat two defenders and stabbed the ball into Forster’s post. Canada had substitute Jones to thank when she blocked a goal-bound ball that could have been Ghana’s equaliser in the dying embers of the game.

Both teams have progressed to the knockout stage of the tournament with Germany and Korea DPR taking an early shower in the group.