Ghana qualified to the quarter-final of the 2012 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup after beating China 2-0 on Sunday in their final Group match.
Lead striker Jane Ayieyam scored a double which secured the Black Maidens their first qualification to the knock-out stage of the competition.
The Black Maidens recovered from their opening day defeat to Germany to beat China 2-0 to reach the Azerbaijan 2012 quarter-finals.
Coming into the game China’s technical style had looked the more accomplished, but buoyed by their 6-0 win over Uruguay, Ghana took the game to the Asian side.
Playing a quicker game and pressing well, the Black Maidens took an early lead through Ayieyam.
Taking down Fatima Alhassan’s deep cross superbly, Ayieyam’s resulting effort hit the bar, but she was on hand to tap in the rebound.
As China failed to implement their more intricate style of play in a packed midfield, Alhassan forced Lu Feifei into two superb full-length saves to keep her side in touch.
In a late first half rally, China’s best chances of the half fell to Miao Siwen, first skewing a header wide, then wastefully firing over after showing quick feet in the box.
After the break the game deflated somewhat, with Ghana happy to set on a result that would take them through, with China struggling to break through a packed final third.
As the game ground into something of a stalemate Feifei had to be on her toes to prevent Sherifatu Sumaila’s cross dipping under the bar with 15 minutes to go.
As the game went on Ayieyam was the only player bringing any impetus to the Black Maidens.
Fittingly it was she who sealed the game for Ghana with her second goal, breaking free in a one-woman counter-attack before slotting calmly under Feifei.
It was her tournament’s fourth goal.
Ghana finished second in Group D with six points; one behind leaders Germany.
The Black Maidens will face Japan on Friday 5 October.