Princesses stun hosts Canada in U20 Women's World Cup opener
The Black Princesses made a winning start to their 2014 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup campaign after beating hosts Canada 1-0 at the National Soccer Stadium in Toronto.
Striker Sherifatu Sumaila’s 22nd minute strike was all Ghana needed to grab the points in a hard-fought contest which saw goalkeeper Victor Adjei emerge player of the match following some superb saves.
A fast paced opening set up an entertaining first half, even if gilt-edged chances remained at a premium.
Canada defender Kadeisha Buchanan made several important interceptions but she could do little to prevent Sumaila breaking the deadlock on 22 minutes. The goalscorer weaved past several defenders before feeding team-mate Edem Atovor whose low cross was not dealt with by the goalkeeper, and Sumaila took full toll from close range.
Canada’s best chance arrived a few minutes before the interval as Emma Fletcher struck Victoria Agyei’s post with an effort from the left.
The hosts, urged on by a vociferous strong 14,834 crowd, built momentum throughout the second half but fell agonisingly short of an equaliser as they pressed hard in the dying stages.
At the other end Ghana created few chances but they looked steady for much of the match, aside from the late onslaught.
Nichelle Prince added spark for Canada when she entered the fray on the hour mark. Most notably, the speedy left-sided Prince saw a shot on the turn saved by Agyei.
Canada turned the screws in the final ten minutes with Ashley Campbell pushing a header wide, while Buchanan did likewise in injury time from Prince’s cross.