Ghana defeated African rivals Niger 2-0 in an all-African Round of 16 clash at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday.
The win earns the Black Starlets a quarter-final clash versus another African opponent in Mali on Saturday in Guwahati.
Ghana dominated the first half, creating 13 attempts to Niger’s lone effort. The two-time champions created the first chance on 25 minutes, as Edmund Arko-Mensah’s powerful strike produced a top save from Niger goalkeeper Khaled Lawali.
The Ghanaians had to wait until first-half stoppage time to finally break through, as they were awarded a penalty after Eric Ayiah was cut down in the Niger box by Farouk Idrissa. The Ghana captain stepped up to convert the spot-kick for his third goal of the tournament.
The Black Starlets kept pressing forward after the break, with Gideon Mensah missing a great opportunity to double Ghana’s lead from close range. Ayiah could have had a second penalty goal after Idrissa fouled Emmanuel Toku in the Niger box, but Lawali was equal to his spot-kick effort.
The second goal would arrive in the final moments, as substitute Richard Danso’s strike proved too strong for Lawali to keep out of his net, as Ghana capped a convincing performance at the Dr. DY Patil Stadium.