The dream is over for the Black Satellites as Ghana crashed out of FIFA U20 World Cup following a 3-0 defeat to Mali.
Ghana was second best throughout in a game where the Malians outclassed Sellas Tetteh’s team to advance to the quarterfinals.
This is the third meeting of the two sides this year, with today’s result meaning Mali has won two of those three. Ghana beat the Young Eagles to take third at the CAF U20 championships in Senegal after losing to the same team in the group stages.
But on this day in Wellington, it was the Fanyeri Diarra show as their coach set out his team to thwart Ghana’s play from on the onset.
Ghana made three changes to the starting line up. In came Inter Allies defender Patrick Kpozo for the suspended Patrick Asmah at left back whilst Asiedu Attobrah and Benjamin Tetteh were dropped for Poartugal based duo, Osei Barnes and Emmanuel Boateng
The Malians took the lead after 20 minutes with a fine shot from Diadie Samassekou which totally beat Satellites goalkeeper Lawrence Ati. The goal came from quick one-two passing from 20 yards out until it reached Diadie who toe-poked it in.
Despite this, but for Ati the final 3-0 score wou;d have been more.
Possession remained squarely in the domain of the Young Eagles, whose use of triangular passes led to the Ghanaians regularly chasing the play.
In first half, Ghana had only one shot at goal.
The second half resumed and barely eight minutes later, Gbakle Dieudonne made it two. It was a sensational effort from the player who was given space to run. But his finish was a 20 yard curler that saw the diving Ati Zigi unable to reach the ball.
The Malians completed the rout with a Messi-esque goal by Abubakar Doumbia, who latched onto a through pass, was left one-on-one with Ati and opted for the spectacular.
The quality of the chip spoke volumes about the confidence of the team in yellow, who deservedly go ahead into the quarters.
Tetteh, who sees a first time he’s crashing out at this stage of a World Cup, would have to try again some other time.