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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
ordinary side.

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 day.

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.





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