Ghana’s Black Maidens keeping Africa’s dream alive at Jordan 2016

Ghana’s national U-17 female side, the Black Maidens, remain Africa’s only hope at the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, Jordan 2016, after their superlative performance against Paraguay in the final Group D game.

Captain Sandra Owusu-Ansah scored a stunning 25-yard half-volley on the 68th minute, as Ghana qualified for the quarter-finals with a 1-0 victory over Paraguay. The Black Maidens, who will now face Korea DPR in the last eight, worked tirelessly for the result as the Paraguayans were in no mood to go home without a single point.

Paraguay goalkeeper Andrea Beckenstein was in her agile best, saving well from an Owusu-Ansah header and then parrying a close-range effort from Blessing Agbomadzi, with Gifty Acheampong unable to convert the rebound.

Ghana remained on top and continued to dominate the Paraguayans physically, but the second half initially brought only more frustration in front of goal. Twice, they were clean through but on both occasions - first through Rafia Kulchirie, then Owusu-Ansah - they failed to find the target.

The Ghanaian captain would not be denied, though, and with 22 minutes remaining, she conjured up a spectacular clincher. Acheampong cushioned the ball into her path 25 yards from goal and Owusu-Ansah took it first time on the volley, sending a right-foot shot looping into the top right-hand corner.

Ghana’s captain was adjudged the best player in the game with her goal winning the goal of the day. She becomes the second Ghanaian player to win the Player of the Match award at the ongoing tournament after Adizatu Mustapha won it when Ghana defeated USA.

Ghana’s opponent in Thursday’s quarter-finals is the high flying Korea DPR but skipper Sandra Owusu-Ansah is unperturbed. In her post match speech, she assured Ghanaians the Maidens will go all out as they seek to keep Africa’s dream alive in the competition.

“They congratulated me for making Ghana proud. Now we expect to make it all the way to the final”, Captain Owuso-Ansah concluded.
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