Sports News of Sunday, 1 July 2001
Ghana ousted mighty Brazil from the World Youth Championship with a 2-1 victory on Sunday, providing the shock of the tournament so far.
Ghana will now play Egypt in the semifinal, while Argentina faces Paraguay.
In a game that started slowly but built to a riveting climax, Ghana came back from a goal down, scoring a late equalizer through Abdul Ibrahim and grabbing a golden-goal in the fourth minute of extra time though John Mensah.
In a disappointing first half neither team found rhythm. Ghana controlled the ball and looked dangerous down the left where Sulley Muntari was excellent but the finishing was lacking.
The Brazilians seemed almost indifferent, trusting their lethal front line to produce the goods for them and showing little urgency in the rest of the field.
The side's main forward, Robert, provoked the first chance in the third minute when he escaped his marker, stepped inside the area and fired in a shot that keeper struggled to stop.
Ghana responded in the 15th minute Muntari cutting in from the left and unleashing a shot that tested Brazil keeper Rubinho.
The crowd of around 5,000 tried to urge the two sides on, with the few dozen Brazilians providing a constant background of banging drums and flag-waving while the locals cheered on the Africans.
In the 29th minute, Brazil's Pinga sent a rasping free-kick over the wall but wide of Maxwell Banahene's goal.
As the half entered its last five minutes, Brazil shifted up a gear, forcing a corner. From the set-piece, Robert sent a header goalward, the keeper could only parry it to his right, forcing Emmanuel Pappoe to head the ball off his line.
In the 44th minute, the Brazilians were back and this time they scored. Pinto broke down the right, whipped in a cross to Adriano, who chested the ball down and struck in an effort which Banahene let slip through his hands and it crossed the line.
Ghana continued to push forward after the restart with Derek Boateng, John Paintsil and Muntari constantly pressuring.
But the South American defense dug in bravely to keep the Africans at bay.
Ghana made Brazil pay for its negative approach in the 80th minute when it leveled the score. John Paintsill picked up the ball on halfway line, flashed down the right wing, dribbling past three defenders before cutting the ball back to Ibrahim who curled it past Rubinho.
With the game tied, both crowd and match came alive, as a stunned Brazil faced a fight for survival for the first time in the tournament.
In the 85th minute, Ibrahim was close to grabbing a winner with a fierce 40-yard (-meter) shot that almost beat Rubinho.
Three minutes later Muntari wasted another chance striking a close-range effort straight at Rubinho. Moments later Ghana keeper Banahene was the savior, parrying away a powerful shot by Brazil's Adriano.
Tied after 90 minutes, the game entered extra time with an excited crowd knowing that the next goal would decide the match.
Throwing caution to the wind, Ghana went forward and forced a corner in the fourth minute. In came the cross and John Mensah got in front of his marker to send a firm header over the line, ousting Brazil.
The biennial tournament, featuring 24 national teams, began June 17 and wraps up July 8. It is billed as a window to young soccer talent.
GHANA: Maxwell Banahene, Michael Essien, Patrick Villars, Emmanuel Pappoe, Anthony Obodai (Samuel Thompson, 46th), John Mensah, Sulley Muntari, Abdul Ibrahim, Razak Pimpong (Frank Osei, 23rd), Derek Boateng, John Paintsil.
BRAZIL: Rubinho, Maicon, Marquinhos, Luizao, Edu Dracena, Eduardo, Pinga, Fernando, Kaka, Adriano, Robert (Julio Baptista, 77th).
Referee: Manuel Mejuto Gonzalez (Spain)