Pain for Ghana despite Late Winner

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Ghana’s Cudjoe scores the 2-1 against Finland_web.jpg

Ghana’s Black Queens, (otherwise known as Black Princesses) the U-20 female national team ended their dream to advance to the last eight of the FIFA 2014 Women’s World Cup despite their 2-1 win over Finland last Tuesday, as host Canada joined Korea DPR on goal-difference.

Ghana’s undoing was in their second match against Korea DPR who trounced them 3-0. So far Ghana scored three goals, as against four by Canada with Korea DPR with five goals. In Tuesday’s game, Ghana’s Jennifer Cudjoe scored four minutes from full time to secure 2-1 victory.

It was Finland that got the opener in the 50th minute through striker Juliette Kemppi and Ghana’s Sherifatu Sumaila leveled in the 71st minute before the late winner. While Ghana’s game was held in Moncton, Korea DPR’s match against Canada the same day was played in Montreal.

They were two matches that their results were needed to determine who moved into the final eight or the quarter-finals. If Ghana had scored more than two goals, that could have secured them a chance, since Canada streaked ahead with one point over Ghana. Despite Ghana’s exit, their match against Finland who got not even a point saw both teams playing not to lose with each searching desperately for the win that hopefully could have lifted their chances to the last eight.

Perhaps Finland was playing a blind, and desperately finding a winner to prevent three losses in three matches, which in the end they could not get. But that they played so strongly and only succumbed to defeat just four minutes against Ghana indicated how determined they were prepared to demand some respect. In any case, both Ghana and Finland would blame their failures to have made use of chances that came their way, respectively.

For example, striker Wasila Diwura-Soale of Ghana failed to convert a golden opportunity from close range for Ghana, and Finland’s Nora Heroum also struck the crossbar with a free-kick. Finland’s Emilia Iskanius was subsequently forced to clear off the line for the Europeans after Ghana’s Diwura-Soale had looked to profit from the goalkeeper’s error. If anything at all, it was the Finns that came better off in the early part with better openings as Natalia Kuikka and Heroum both narrowly failed to find their targets until Kemppi found the opener from a pass with Ria Oling’s assist.

As the game moved on to the end and desperate Ghana turned on the power, the equalizer came as a matter of course with Sumaila taking advantage of a turnover to slot home and fifteen minutes later when Finland goalkeeper Krista Moisio made a superb point-blank stop from Veronica Appiah, team-mate Cudjoe powerfully converted home with a drive from the edge of the penalty area for the winner.

Other results on Tuesday: Germany trounced Brazil 5-1; USA defeated China PR 3-0 and Canada defeated Korea PDR 1-0.

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