Two first half goals against South Africa helped Sellas Tetteh bust his opening day hoodoo at the Africa Youth Championships and set the quest for a place at the 2015 World Youth Championship on course.
The South Africans had promised a tough game, and delivered all the pre-match bravado but fell short when it mattered most against a Ghana side that possessed the ball better, passed it around well and with better finishing could have humiliated their opponents long before the 90th minute mark.
Instead Tetteh, who is managing at his third Africa Youth Championship, tasted victory for the first time on the opening day after defeat to Egypt in 2013 and a draw against Cameroon two years earlier.
It is a defeat which seemed to have touched raw nerves in South Africa too with a few tweets focussing on what they claimed to be overaged Ghana players while blaming the loss on the Egyptian referee for harsh second yellow card that messed up the contest early.
The truth though is that a lot of that were just excuses. Ghana, masters at this level with three titles, one world cup and losing finalists only two years ago were too good for the Amajitas.
Ghana’s quality was oozing very early. Clifford Aboagye, third best player from the world cup two years ago was in fine form in midfield with Asideu Attobrah, Yaw Yeboah and others providing support.
Ghana was ahead after only ten minutes when South Africa left back Maphosa Modibo turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Prosper Kassim following a good run and cross from the impressive Yaw Yeboah.
The Black Satellites went on to dominate the rest of the half with the much hyped Asiedu Attobrah, Clifford Aboagye and Yeboah all with efforts to increase the tall.
When the second goal came on the verge of half time though, it was worth the wait. Benjamin Tetteh chase a long ball from midfield and with goalkeeper Dumasi Msibi advancing from his line, Tetteh chipped him cutely for a second.
It broke South Africa going into the break and their resolve was cracked further when they were reduced to ten men less than ten minutes into the second half. Modibo mounted what looked at innocuous challenge on Clifford Aboagye. It was clumsy alright but for a player on a yellow card already, the decision by referee Ibrahim Nour El Din to send him off with a second yellow card seemed harsh.
It didn’t matter though. Ghana had wrapped the points in the first half and the second half passed by in pedestrian manner without significant action.
You get a feeling that they will need to extend themselves a bit more when they return to the Caroline Faye Stadium in Mbour on Thursday for the their second game against Zambia.
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