Black Starlets shine bright
Ghana underlined their Under-17 World Cup title credentials with a 2-1 win over Colombia, qualifying for the round of 16 as the second-placed side in Group F in a game played at the Ulsan Complex Stadium in South Korea on Sunday.
And, to confirm that billing, they went on to beat the mighty Brazil with a team reduced to 10 men for the second half after a second bookable offence saw defender Boadibeing sent for an early shower. The all-important goal was scored in the 51st minute by Isaac Donkor.
In the Colombia game, Cafetero coach Eduardo Lara had sent out his young charges with three key instructions: hold onto the ball, cover the flanks, and always pressure the player receiving the ball.
Opposite number Sellas Tetteh opted for a more direct approach, designed to take advantage of his forwards' speed. The Ghanaians started the stronger, and subsequently took the lead in the 33rd minute through danger man Ransford Osei.
The Black Starlets took an even greater hold on the game after the interval, but were wasteful in the final third.
Somewhat relieved to still be in the match, Colombia made the Africans pay for their profligacy on the hour mark, Cristian Nazarith levelling matters at 1-1. With the three points there for the taking, up popped an unmarked Ishamel Yartey to win the game for Ghana.
Highlights of this game and those of other African countries at the tournament, Togo, Nigeria and Tunisia, will be shown on the African Soccer Television show on SABC1 Sport's Laduma programme on Sunday at 5.30pm.
The Tunisians beat Tajikistan 1-0 to continue their 100 percent start to the Fifa U-17 World Cup Korea 2007. The North Africans' winner came from Youssef Msakni after 82 minutes at the Suwon Sports Complex. Tunisia later lost 3-0 to France in the round of 16. - Sello Rabothata and fifa.com