Ghana’s Black Starlets lost 3-1 on penalties to Nigeria on Saturday in the final of the 2018 WAFU Zone B U17 Championships in Niger.
The match ended 1-1 after regulation time in which Ghana took the lead in the 54th minute.
Nigeria got the leveller in the 56th minute through Akiwumi Amoo to send the match into the shootout.
Ebenezer Adade was the only Ghanaian player to get his kick on target as Alhassan Uzair, Sampson Agyapong and Abdul Fatau Isaaku all missed.
For Nigeria, David Isahaya, Sampson Tijani and Mohammed Ibrahim scored while Akiwunmi Amoo missed his kick.
The loss means that Ghana will not be heading to the 2019 African U17 Championships in Tanzania and by extension, the World Cup in Peru.
What the coaches said:
Ghana coach Karim Zito:
“I think my players did well and were not tactically indisciplined. We played, they (Nigeria) played, we made mistakes and they scored. Without mistakes, there will not be goals in football.
This tournament has brought up a lot of talent. The players have tried to show their capabilities and they have tried to express themselves.”
Nigeria coach Manu Garba:
“Ghana played so well and either side deserved to win but only one team can win this tournament. However, I need to say that the qualifying format for the African Championships must change.
West Africa is a hub of African football especially at youth level. Nigeria has won the World Cup 5 times and Ghana on two. It is unfortunate that teams like Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire will not get to be at the African tournament.
This zone must get CAF to change the format.”
By: Citi Sports