AYC 2015: Last-gasp goal secures semis berth and World Cup spot for Ghana



Ghana struck at the death to edge Zambia 2-1 on Thursday night in Mbour to reach the semi-finals of the African U20 Championship and qualify for the FIFA World Cup.

Substitute Samuel Afful intelligent beat the offside trap and struck a low grounder to beat goalkeeper Mangani Band on 85 minutes.

It was a tensed match and the Junior Chipolopolo struck first just under two minutes when Dave Daka pounced on a defensive mistake and fired in a thunderous effort from the edge of the area.

It unsettled the Ghanaians a little but they still managed to keep their heads afloat.

Winger Asiedu Attobrah drew the Black Satellites level when he wriggled past his marker before curling in with his weaker left foot on 26 minutes.

It was against the run of play and this restored the self-belief and confidence of the three-time African champions.

But the major talking point for the first half was the disallowed goal for Zambia late on which looked a legitimate strike from Daka after Muntawakilu Siedu, the Ghana goalkeeper spilled a ball into the play.

Zambia threatened in the 56 th minute with a blistering header but goalkeeper Siedu blocked with his huge frame and the ball dropped for his defender to heavily cleared out

The Satellites won a free kick at the edge of the box two minutes later when stylish midfielder Clifford Aboagye was tripped by captain Spencer Sautu.

On the hour mark, Yaw Yeboah intercepted a pass and race into the box but the Manchester City signing’s shot was intercepted by the defender for a corner.

There was a real scare for Ghana when Charles Zulu sent in cross which swept past the face of goal but Daka was late with his connection.

On 79 minutes, goalkeeper Siedu pulled a great save and parry Daka’s connection from close range a nice move.

Substitute Patson Daka was put through clear on goal but the striker shot into the waiting arms of Siedu.

Five minutes to the end of the match, the Satellites went on a break and it was left winger Prosper Kassim who set up Aboagye at the edge of the area.

The Granada man intelligently threaded a soft pass for Afful to fire home sublimely to seal the points for the Black Satellites.

Ghana will now play Mali, who have also qualified for the semi-finals and 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup, on Sunday to decide top spot for Group B.

The duo have joined Group A leaders Nigeria who won two matches against Senegal and Congo.

For more Ghana football news visit www.ghanasoccernet.com

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