WAFU U17 Cup: Cote d’Ivoire eliminates Ghana as Golden Eaglets qualify for semis

Golden Eaglets of Nigeria

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By Our Sports Desk/Goal.com

The Black Starlets’ hopes of reaching the last four have been dashed by the Young Elephants   

Ghana are out of the ongoing Wafu Zone B Cup of Nations in Togo following a 3-1 loss to Cote d’Ivoire on Tuesday.

John Batigi was on target for the Black Starlets but goals from Abdramane Konate, Charles Likpa Miezan and Cedric Franck Emmanuel Don settled the Group B matchday three fixture at Stade de Kegue in Lome. 

The result sees Ghana finish third and bottom in the three-team group, behind leaders Cote d’Ivoire and runners up Nigeria who qualify for the semi-finals. The Starlets and Nigeria played out a 1-1 draw in their opening game.

The tournament champions, first runners-up and second runners-up will in turn qualify for the Africa U17 Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Morocco later this yer.

Konate opened the scoring for Cote d’Ivoire in the ninth minute, the effort lasting as the only goal until the end of the first half.

Just two minutes after the break, Miezan guided the ball into the net to double the lead.

In the 51st minute, Ghana halved the deficit as Batigi beat Cote d’Ivoire goalkeeper Issa Fofana.

Emmanuel Don, however, restored the Ivorians’ lead, converting to make it 3-1 after Togolese referee Vincentia Enyonam Amedome pointed to the spot.

Ghana tried to find a way back into the game but found the Ivorian defence hard to break as the referee whistled to bring the match to an end.

The Black Starlets are unable to make the final of the competition for a second straight tournament after reaching the stage at Niger 2019. At the last tournament, they finished as losing finalists.

With Ghana unable to go all the way to book qualification for the 2021 U17 Afcon in Morocco, they are set to miss out on the continental gathering for the second straight edition.

The four semi-finalists at the Afcon ought to be representing the continent at the U17 World Cup later this year but the latter tournament has been cancelled due to safety concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Ghana are two-time winners (1995 and 1999) of the U17 Afcon and two-time champions (1991 and 1995) of the U17 World Cup.

EAGLE EYE WATCH reports that Nigeria will face Burkina Faso, winners of Group A, on Friday, January 15, hoping to clinch a final spot and qualification to the 2021 U17 AFCON holding in Morocco later this year.

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