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Sports News of Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Source: GNA

U20 WC: Ghana scrape through

Ismailia, Oct 6, GNA - Ghana's Black Satellites went scrappy but lucky to snatch an extra time goal and stole victory from the jaws of the Amajitas of South Africa in a 2-1 dicey knockout game played at the Ismailia Stadium, to earn a place in the quarter finals at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

Ghana relied on an extra time first half goal to turn around the game the Amajitas had wrapped around their finger for most part of the game when Dominic Adiyiah stroke on the turn to give Ghana a lead that they protected with zest.

The Satellites started beyond slow and conceded the midfield battle early in a manner that exposed the extent of effect the absence of creative midfielder, Rabiu Mohammed was having on the team touted as favourite ahead of the duel.

Severally it was goalkeeper Daniel Adjei who brought his talent and abilities to bear by pulling incredible saves such as a powerful dead ball by South African's Thulani Serero to keep the Satellites in the game.

Ghana was lucky not to have conceded a goal by the end of the first half, and when they returned from recess with a flatter to deceive spirit, many thought the tables were about to turn but alas, it was the Amajitas that were to strike first in 58 minutes.

In one of their many incursions, Kermit Erasmus beat an offside trap and with the defenders caught ball watching and awaiting a signal from referee Peter Leary, the player rounded up Adjei before planting deep into the net to send the scanty South African fans dotted around the 18,500 capacity arena chanting.

The Satellites for the first time rouse up to the challenge and began settling down and occasionally pouring out in search of an equalizer that was to arrive five minutes after the hour through skipper Andre Ayew who headed home from David Addy' free kick.

The fight for another goal intensified and lasted through the 90 minutes duration and when the 30 minutes extra time was ushered in, it was Ghana whose dominance became telling as Ransford Osei, who had been caged all afternoon, was replaced by Opoku Agyemang.

Ghana's edge in attack then became a bit stable and whiles a few chances far and in-between were wasted, Adiyiah stroke when the iron was still hot with a masterpiece of the turn when he pick up a flying pass just after the area to beat goalkeeper Darren Keet only nine minutes into the first half of extra time.

Agyeman was to receive a questionable second caution moments later and playing with one man less, South Africa began drawing wrings around the Satellites but the African Champions held on to set up a date with Korea Republic in quarterfinals in Suez on Friday.

Line-up of Ghana's Black Satellites:

Daniel Adjei, Samuel Inkoom, David Addy,Daniel Addo, Jonathan Mensah, Agyeman Badu, Abeiku Quansah, Gladson Awaku/John Benson, Ransford Osei/Opoku Agyeman, Andre Ayew and Dominic Adiyiah.