KENYA BROWN - Thursday, October 12, 2017
A goal from Ayo Akinola in the second half helped the United States Under-17 national team to a win over Ghana, giving them passage to the second round of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
After getting their campaign off to a good start with a 3-0 victory over host country India, the young Americans were looking to solidify their place atop Group A with a win over the Black Starlets, who also won their first game over Colombia.
The US started the game strongly and several chances to open the scoring. Josh Sargent has the first chance in the 17th minute when he got his head onto a cross from teammate Chris Durkin. However, Ghanaian goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim would get a hand on the ball to parry away the effort.
Blaine Ferri had two chances to give the Americans the lead, with one of his shots sailing past the post.
Ghana finally woke up after taking the brunt of the US attack when they gave themselves an opportunity in the 35th minute. Sadiq Ibrahim received a pass at the edge of the area and fired a blistering shot at goalkeeper Justin Garces. However, the US netminder was able to stop it and his defense cleared the ball from the area.
Ghana continued to press in the second half, with Emmanuel Toku, Kudus Mohammed, and Sadiq Ibrahim all having chances at the US goal being denied.
Then in the 75th minute, the game would change as Akinola, who entered the game off the bench, scored the only goal of the game. Durkin took a ball off of a Ghanaian player, passed it on to Chris Goslin and the midfielder would find Akinola, who ran into the area with two defenders pressuring as he got his shot past Danlad Ibrahim.
The US remains atop of Group A with six points to guarantee them a spot in the knockout stage.
They will close out group play on Thursday as when they take on Colombia.