Ghana are out of the FIFA U20 World Cup after crashing to a deserved 3-0 defeat to a dominant Mali side on Wednesday in the last 16 stage of the tournament in New Zealand on Wednesday.
Mali reached the quarter-finals after cruising past the Black Satellites in emphatic style at Westpac Stadium in Wellington in what could be Ghana’s worst showing in the history of the competition.
Diadie Samassekou opened the scoring in the 20th minute after a lovely interchange with his teammate that carved through the centre of Ghana’s defence before Samassekou fnished with a powerful left foot effort into the bottom corner.
Ghana, who have never failed to reach a quarterfinal at this age-level, were stunned when Dieudonne Gbakle struck a beautiful curling shot into the top corner.
Aboubacar Doumbia made sure of the result with a brilliant chip over the goalkeeper after after a great one-two saw him go through on goal.
Ghana had gone into the round of 16 match as favourites but never produced the cutting edge to live up to that billing at Wellington Regional Stadium on Wednesday. When Mali had chances, they took them.
Mali know how to upset Ghana. They beat them 1-0 at the African qualification tournament, before being beaten 3-1 when the teams met again in the playoff for third and fourth.
So, having finished third in Group D, after Ghana had comfortably won Group A, they wouldn’t have gone into the game fearing anything.
The Black Satellites were second best on the afternoon at Wellington Regional Stadium as Les Aiglons dominated with their physicality and sublime skills.
Ghana coach Sellas Tetteh made three changes to his starting line-up but that was highly ineffectual as his boys were sloppy and error-strewn.
Mali played with a lot of know-how and conviction as their sleek passing game caused problems for the Satellites defence.
Their opener Diadie Samassekou was well worked after the playing a one-two with danger Adama Traore, who returned the pass for the former to drilled home on 20 minutes.
Ghana had chances but they were few scanty and the 2009 winners did not have the keys to unlock the Mali rearguard.
One of them was a powerful connection on Yaw Yeboah’s pull out from the right by Emmanuel Boateng but his effort went straight into the arms of goalkeeper and captain Djigui Diarra.
After the break, Boateng was put through but the Rio Ave striker, who had pressure from a defender, shot against the body of Djigui.
Against the run of play, the Mali doubled their lead through Dieudonne Gbakle who profited from Patrick Kpozo’s mis-cued header.
Again, it was a wonderful effort, with Dieudonne dancing inside from the right wing past a couple of challenges before curling in a magnificent 20-yard shot that bounced down off the underside of the bar and back up into the roof of the net.
But the Black Satellites keeper was merely delaying the inevitable and a final, crowning goal for Senegal arrived nine minutes from time.
Aboubabacar Doumbia showing a terrific burst of pace to break clear of the Ghana defence before lofting the most delightful of chipped finishes into the far corner.
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