December 8, 2021

Wafu B U20 Cup of Nations: Ghana beat Niger on penalties to secure double reward

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The Black Satellites are through to the next round of the sub-regional championship after a shoot-out win on Tuesday 

Ghana are through to the final of the ongoing Wafu B U20 Cup of Nations in Benin following a 5-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Niger on Tuesday.

The semi-final match ended 0-0 after extra-time at Stade de Gaules in Porto Novo, after which the Black Satellites emerged victors on penalties.

Goalkeeper William Emmanuel Essu, who was substituted into the game just before the end of the extra-time period, Mohammed Sulemana, Precious Boah, Abdul Mugees Zakaria and Frank Boateng made no mistakes with their kicks from 12 yards.

Mahamudou Mahamane Ousmane was the unfortunate man for Niger as his missed kick handed joy to the Black Satellites.

The win has not only set Ghana up with a final date with the victors of the second semi-final fixture between Group B winners Cote d’Ivoire and Group A runners-up Burkina Faso but also secured Abdul Karim Zito’s side qualification ticket for the 2021 Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Mauritania.

Ghana came into the game on the back of a 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire and a 1-0 win over arch-rivals Nigeria in the group stage, which saw them finish second in Group B.

Niger, on the other hand, finished top of Group A after a 1-1 draw with Togo, 0-0 stalemate with Burkina Faso and 1-0 victory over hosts Benin.

The two finalists at the sub-regional tournament secure qualification ticket for next year’s African championship.

At the continental gathering, the four semi-finalists will get the nod to represent Africa at the 2020 Fifa U20 World Cup in Indonesia.

Ghana are looking to go all the way to play at the World Cup for the first time since reaching the Round of 16 of the tournament at New Zealand in 2015.

The Black Satellites failed to qualify for the African Championship in 2017. Two years later, the three-time champions reached the continental gathering but failed to progress beyond the group stage, thereby unable to register one of the four available World Cup qualification tickets.

Ghana won the U20 Afcon in 1993, 1999 and 2009, where they also went on to conquer the world.