Black Princesses win but miss qualification by a whisker
The Black Princesses secured a late 2-1 win win Finland at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup but failed to progress from the Group stage on goal difference.
Despite amassing six points, the Princesses were tied on points with leaders Korea DPR and Canada but had a goal difference of minus -1.
Korea had a healthy goal difference of plus three and Canada plus 1.
Jennifer Cudjoe scored the match winner for the Princesses four minutes from full time but that was no enough to help Ghana reach the last-eight of the competition.
The two sides exchanged second-half goals via Juliette Kemppi and Sherifatu Sumaila, but despite the late drama Ghana were left agonisingly short of Group A rivals Canada and Korea DPR on goal difference.
The group was intriguingly poised going into the final round with both teams still alive, though anxiously awaiting the outcome of the contest between leaders Korea DPR and second-placed Canada in Montreal.
The match in Moncton proved to be an absorbing affair with both sides searching desperately for the win which might lift them into a maiden last-eight appearance.
The contest was evenly poised from the outset with chances at either ends. Wasila Diwura-Soale failed to convert a golden opportunity from close range for Ghana, while Finland’s Nora Heroum struck the crossbar with a free-kick.
Emilia Iskanius was then forced to clear off the line for the Europeans after Diwura-Soale had looked to profit from the goalkeeper’s error.
However, it was the Finns that concluded the opening period with the better openings as Natalia Kuikka and Heroum both narrowly failed to find the target.
Finland did go on to grab the opener five minutes after the interval, though, with Kemppi converting smartly from Ria Oling’s assist.
However, a desperate Ghana turned on the power and eventually equalised just past the midway point of the half with Sumaila taking advantage of a turnover to slot home.
Finland goalkeeper Krista Moisio made a superb point-blank stop from Veronica Appiah, but Ghana were not to be denied and Cudjoe powerfully converted with a drive from the edge of the penalty area for the winner.