Starlets shrink under Togo’s might
(From Veronica Commey, GNA Special Correspondent in Lome,
Togo; Courtesy Ministry of Education, Science and Sports)
Lome, March 21, GNA – Ghana’s Black Starlets failed to stay
glued to their pre-match resolve to snatch a slot in the
grand finale of the ongoing African U-17 Championship when
they succumbed 1-2 to host, the Young Hawks of Togo in their
semi-final duel on Tuesday.
The Ghanaians who were favoured by pundits before the game,
relinquished an early lead masterminded by Ransford Osei to
profit the debutants a dream final.
The Starlets who many reckoned have failed to live up to
their potential in the tourney fared poorly against the host
who themselves were nothing but an
Osei gave the Starlets false hope in the 12th minute when he
profited from a goal mouth melee to grab the opener.
Togo who appeared nervous regrouped well and managed to
create a few anxious moments for the Starlets who conceded
the middle on many occasions.
With their confidence level soaring each second, the
Togolese pressured Ghana in a fashion that could only force
the later’s defence to falter along the
Almost 29 minutes into the game, the victors earned a
doubtful free-kick just in front of the Starlets penalty box
which Kora Dowou sent to the first pole that beat Ghana’s
goalkeeper Abraham Hoenyedzi who surprisingly had that part
of the post covered flicking the ball into his own net.
The filled to capacity stadium came alive and started
singing and dancing as though heaven was coming down.
The action from then switched with the Ghanaians becoming
the beneficiaries of the exchanges.
In one of their numerous moves forward, creative genius,
Ishmael Yartey sent a long half volley that beat Togo
goalie, Akora Abue Koffitse but kissed the posts to safety
to usher in the recess.
The Starlets resumed the second half as a worse side as they
abandoned their rhythm and rather stuck with the idea of
lobbying each ball that rather advantaged the host.
They however enjoyed a rear breather in the 67th minute when
they recovered from a Togolese invasion and reacted with a
counter that picked out Osei.
Osei had a fine opportunity but his effort was tipped to
safety by goalkeeper Koffitse in a manner that drew an
unending applause from the fans.
With the clock ticking away, each side searched for the
winner that left substitute Tidjani Biliaminou the hero of
The player towered above the Ghanaian defence to notch home
the winner from a corner kick in the injury time with the
defence tem of the Ghanaians ball watching.
The team will play Tunisia for the bronze medal.
Line-up – Starlets:
Abraham Hoenyedzi, Addo Paul, Benjamin Owusu, Abeiku
Quansah, Enoch Adu, Sadick Adam/Kelvin Owusu-Bossman,
Ransford Osei, Ishmael Yartey, Nathaniel Asamoah, Eric
Opoku and Otiboe Moses.