Ghana’s U17 Black Starlets edge past Westphalia to win tournament in Namibia
Ghana’s U17 side Black Starlets won the four-nation international friendly tournament in Namibia on Sunday night after edging past Westphalia 4-2 on penalties to clinch the title.
South Africa finished third and host Namibia fourth after the tournament was concluded on Sunday night.
The Ghanaian team defeated Westphalia 4-2 on penalties after an entertaining and balanced 90 minutes under the floodlights at the Swakopmund Sports Complex on Sunday night.
When the two sides met in the group stage on Wednesday, Ghana were 3-0 winners but on Sunday night, the Germans, Westphalia came back strong and after an fairly balanced opening minutes, it took a moment of individual brilliance from Tobias Tellio, who unleashed a thunderous shot from 30 metres out into the far top left corner to give Westphalia a 1-0 halftime lead.
In second stanza, Ghana came out with renewed intent for an equaliser with the tournament top goal scorer Abass Issah leading the attack and supported by Kofi Amoakoa, Isaac Twum, Henry Medarious and midfield strong man Joseph Paintsil.
But the Westphalia defence stood firm with Captain Frederick Lach commanding the rear-guard that included Till Schumacher, Maurice Reib and Gert Sahim.
However, Ghana’s persistence paid off and it was yet again another moment of brilliance as Collins Tanor hit an unstoppable shot from 25 metres out that flew past Westphalia goalkeeper Leon Bruggemier.
The search for the winner was dramatic and absorbing, but in the end the two sides settled for one-all draw and penalties had to decide the tie.
In the shoot-pout, Tobias Tellio scored for Westphalia and Emmanuel Sowah equalised for Ghana before Keanu Stande’s kick was saved by Kwesi Asiedu and teammate Cagatay Kader shot over for Westphalia, while Amoakoa and Issah converted for Ghana.
Fabian Reese scored Westphalia’s fourth and it was up to Henry Medarious to strike and clinch victory for Ghana, and he did just that. Ghana crowned champions with 4-2 penalties shoot-out victory.
In the third and fourth-places playoff match, Buhle Mfodololo and Thendo Mukumele scored to guide South Africa to a deserved 2-0 victory over host Namibia.
The eight games of the tournament saw 21 goals scored and Ghana’s Abass Issah got the Golden Shoe for top-scoring with four goals, two ahead of teammates Kofi Amoakoa and Hendry Medarious.
Namibia’s captain and goalkeeper Donovan Gainub won the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award and also received the fourth place finish trophy for Namibia, while Westphalia playmaker from Borussia Dortmund Academy, Serhart Kot was voted the Best Player of the Tournament
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