Ghana's Black Princesses bowed out of the Under-20 Women’s World Cup with pride, going all out to beat New Zealand 1-0 in their final Group A game yesterday.
The Princesses had a miserable campaign losing heaving against France (1-4) and the Netherlands (0-4) in their previous group matches, but they made sure they salvaged what was left of their pride as they played with much gusto against New Zealand and were rewarded with a goal on the 75th minute through Ruth Anima’s header.
It was not just victory for pride for the young Ghanaians, but it was a sweet revenge of some sort for the Princesses who two years ago, were beaten by a similar scoreline by the New Zealanders in the dying minutes of their opening group game in Papua New Guinea.
Indeed, having held France to a goalless draw game in their second game, New Zealand had a chance of making it past the group stage if they beat Ghana and came all out with such confidence. However, they were frustrated by the Ghanaians who had nothing to lose, yet threw in their all to thwart the effort of the Oceanians to end the first half.
When the second half resumed, New Zealand increased the tempo of their game and pushed goalkeeper, Martha Annan to her elastic limits with a number of attacks, but the goalkeeper kept trouble at bay.
As the game wore on, the Ghanaians also tried their chances, going in for long lobs instead of walking the ball in the final third. It was from one of such attempts that they got their goal which ended up being the winner. Hardworking Grace Asantewaa saw New Zealand’s goalkeeper off her line and sent in a powerful shot from about 15 yards which rattled the crossbar and Anima, lurking in the box, headed in the rebound.
It was an effort too late for the Princesses, but it was a good consolation as they make a first round exit with a win against a side that held France to a goalless draw in the group phase.