|The Black Starlets of Ghana have qualified for the finals of the ongoing Africa U-17 tournament in Gabon.
The twinkle twinkle starlets beat the Ménas 6-5 in a penalty shoot out after a goaless cracking 90 minutes of thrilling football.
Striker Emmanuel Toku scored the seventh kick to put the Starlets through to the finals.
The Black Starlets who looked the better side on the day survived a scare from a resilient Niger side.
Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin’s side had been wasteful throughout the game missing several clear opportunities that came their way.
Skipper Eric Ayiah, Gebrial Leveh, Emmanuel Toku and Abdul Razak Yusif were all culprits as they missed their chances in the game.
Niger goalkeeper Khaled Lawali Ibrahim also denied the Black Starlets from finding the back of the net with some great saves.
Penalty misses from Niger duo Yacine Wa Massamba and Djibrilla Ibrahim Mossi saw the two-time Champions (Ghana) make their fourth appearance at the finals.
They now wait for the winner between Mali and Guinea for the final on 28th May.
The Black Starlets reached the last four in a spectacular fashion, humiliating the likes of Cameroon and hosts Gabon to top Group A.
“We have also trained for penalties just in case because we are now in the knockout stages.
“Niger has a very good team and I’m not going to single out any player in the team, we are going to get ready for them and we have prepared for any kind of eventuality,” Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin said ahead of the game.
Their familiarity was steeped in a double-header of friendlies only last month as part of preparations for the tournament.
The Black Starlets scored two unanswered goals in both games – an obvious confidence booster for the Ghanaians.
All four semifinalists have automatically qualified for the world championship in India in October.
Ghana’s Starting Lineup Against Niger
John Out, Razak Yusif, Faisal Osman, Rashid Alhassan
Bismark Terry, Mohammed Iddriss, Gabriel Leveh, Arko Mensah
Emmanuel Toku, Eric Ayiah
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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