Ahead of their quarter final clash with Italy, Ghana’s Youth and Sports Minister Hon Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has hailed the determination and guts of the female Under 17 national football team, the Black Maidens.
This follows sterling performances at the ongoing FIFA U17 Female World Cup in Costa Rica where the Ghanaians are being considered as serious outside contenders for the Juvenile World title.
The Minister sent a personal goodwill message through his deputy Hon Joseph Yammin ahead of the tournament last week.
He followed up with congratulatory messages to the team after they chalked back to back wins at the group stages.
“The girls have really made us proud by advancing from a very tough group with past winners Germany and Korea Republic.
It goes to show that good preparations, hard work, focus and discipline ultimately pay off so the girls must keep believing”.
The Black Maidens opened their Costa Rica 2014 account with an impressive 2-0 win over North Korea before a hard fought 1-0 win over pre-tournament favorites Germany. The Minister has called for support and through prayers and general positive thinking.
With six points and qualification from the group stage already secured, the Maidens surprisingly slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Canada.
“The girls are a few matches away from the ultimate prize but it will get tougher as glory beckons. For those of us who are not physically present in Costa Rica, we must support them with prayers and hope they remain focused”.
Ghana play Italy in the quarterfinals on Thursday the 27th of March with the winner progressing to the semifinals slated for Monday 31st March.
Minister Afriyie Ankrah acknowledged that Ghana is blessed to have qualified for no less than three World Cup Finals in 2014.
”Even the great football nations would be proud of making one World Cup let alone three. After Costa Rica, we will shift our attention to Brazil and then to Canada so we must focus on all fronts”
Ghana won Bronze in the 2012 edition and will be hoping for a better finish this year.