Black Satellites reach knockout stage

Ghana U20 national team have qualified for the round of 16 of the 2015 U20 Fifa World Cup after defeating Panama in Group B final match day on Friday

Ghana U20 national team humbled Panama 1-0 in Group B last matches on Friday to sail through to the knockout stage of the Fifa U20 World Cup in New Zealand.

Emmanuel Boateng of Portuguese side Rio Ave struck in the winner in the 82nd minute to wrap up the Black Satellites’ group campaign with a thrilling victory that strengthened their lead with seven points.

Ghana coach Sellas Tetteh maintained his team that handed Argentina a shocking 3-2 defeat but Panama coach Leonardo Pipino made five changes to his side that lost 2-1 to Austria.

Jaime De Gracia retained his place in post but Christopher Bared replaced captain Chin Hormechea, who was facing suspension, and Julian Velarde respectively to partner Jomar Diaz, Jesus Araya and Fidel Escobar in defence.

Benjamin Tetteh could not make his fourth minute chance count when Samuel Tetteh played him through, as goalkeeper Garcia made a quick save, with the lanky striker flashing the rebound into the air.

Ghana defender Kingsley Fobi’s poor clearance fell onto the path of Jhamel Rodriquez but the Chorrilo FC youngster’s shot was wide. Fobi then saved the West Africans by the 37th minute with a goal-bound clearance on the line from Edson Samms’ effort.

Jesus Araya brought down Yaw Yeboah on the edge of the penalty box but the Manchester City midfielder, who was chasing his third successive goal, shot straight at the human wall and it deflected into a corner kick which ended the first half goalless.

Ghana returned from the break with Prosper Kasim and David Atanga replacing Samuel Tetteh and Clifford Aboagye respectively as Panama brought in Valarede and Small.

Benjamin Tetteh’s powerful shot in the 73rd minute after a teasing pass by Aseidu Attobrah was parried against the upright by Gracia and it was his last touch of day as he was pulled off for Rio Ave’s youngster Emmanuel Boateng.

Boateng made his presence felt immediately when he intercepted a sloppy pass in Panama area and kept his cool to adjust before sending his effort past a sprawling De Gracia in the 82nd minute to put Ghana ahead by 1-0.

Panama were handed a lifeline in the 88th minute when B.A United defender Patrick Asmah brought down Diaz in the penalty area and the defender will miss the Black Satellite’s next game. Fidel Escobar was elected to take the penalty but he sent his effort into the skies to the dismay of his teammates, handing goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi his first clean sheet in the tournament.

Ghana will lock horns with one of the best third-placed countries from either group A/ C/ or D at the Wellington Regional Stadium on June 10.

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