There is still one group match to be played but the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup is effectively over for Ghana’s Black Princesses after they were beaten 4-0 by The Netherlands in their second Group A game at the Stade de la Rabines in Vannes yesterday.
Although the Princesses put up a better performance in this second game, the Dutch capitalised on their lapses to score three goals within 11 minutes in the first half, and a fourth in the second, to deny the Ghanaians any realistic chance of surviving even if they do well in their final game against New Zealand on Sunday.
Watch all the goals below;
Keen to make amends and recover from their heavy 1-4 loss to hosts France on the opening day last Sunday, Coach Yussif Basigi made four changes to his starting line up, bringing on Cecilia Hagan, Helena Obeng, Ruth Anima and Olivia Anokye. That shakeup seemed to have stabilised the team as the Princesses settled in early but lacked the bite in attack to finish off the few scoring chances they created.
3 Goals in 11 minutes
The Dutch looked happy to sit back to allow the Princesses do all the running around and then took advantage of their tactical mistakes of space marking instead of close marking to score their goals in the 21st, 28th, 32nd minutes before topping up in the 80th minute, to claim all three points and a ticket to the quarter-finals in their debut World Cup campaign.
Having kept the Dutch at bay for close to 20 minutes, what looked like a harmless free-kick from the right found an unmarked Aniek Nouwen whose powerful header beat Ghana’s goalkeeper, Martha Annan.
Seven minutes later, Fenna Kalma finished off with a beautiful volley when put through by Victoria Pelova, yet again, taking advantage of the space created by the loopholes in the Ghana defence. Kalma made it 3-0 with incisive exchanges between Pelova and Kalma anytime they approached the Ghana final third.
No subs’ effects
Coach Basigi tried to stabilise his wobbly midfield and also add some bite to his attack, bringing on Grace Acheampong for Ruth Anima and Rafia Alhassan Kulchire for Obeng, but those changes did not provide the solutions the Princesses desired as they had to just fight to keep the Dutch from increasing their tally.
Unfortunately, they could not completely prevent their opponents from going on the rampage as Pelova, who had been great with the assists on the day, finally got her name on the score sheet in the 80th minute after passing the ball to Kalma and receiving it in return to finish off the move with a fine goal.
With six points, the Dutch are through to the quarter-finals, while the Princesses will have to play the difficult final game for pride against New Zealand who standa chance of making it if they win that final game.
Ghana: Martha Annan, Cecilia Hagan, Justice Tweneboah, Philicity Asuako, Blessing Agbomadzi, Ernestina Abambila, Helena Obeng/Rafia A.Kulchire, Grace Asantewaa, Ruth Anima/Grace Acheampong, Olivia Anokye.
France, New Zealand draw
Hosts, France were held to a pulsating goalless draw game by an improved New Zealand side in the other Group A game, a result that puts the hosts qualification on hold until the final game against the Dutch on Sunday.
The French were hoping to pick early qualification too, but a well-drilled New Zealand side denied them as they held their nerve to split the points in a game that never lacked a dull moment from start to finish.
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