African Youth Championship
Ghana 4-3 S. Africa
Nigeria 0-2 Cameroon
Ghana’s Black Satellites will face the Young Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the finals of the African Youth Championship set for this Sunday at Amahoro stadium.
The Black Satellites sealed a place in the last two of the ongoing 16th African Youth Championship after 4-3 win over South Africa’s Amajita while Cameroon defeated Nigeria 2-0 to set up a repeat of a Group stage clash that ended 1-1.
The Ghanaians survived the last ten minutes of the seven-goal thriller to ease into the finals after the South Africans had mounted intense pressure in their quest for a draw.
The South African team noted for its swift play started on a high note but failed to make any meaningful threat at breaking the deadlock.
The Satellites broke the deadlock on 25th minute through attacking midfielder Dominic Adiyiah who connected home a perfect pass from Isaac Donkor.
Leading striker Ransford Osei doubled the lead on the stroke of half time after slamming in a rebound after Amajita goalie Ngobeni Thela had spilled the ball unto his path.
The South Africans resumed positively and succeeded in reducing the deficit on the 63rd minute through Captain Bhengu Phumelele.
Ghana captain Dede Ayew restored his side’s two goal-cushion 60 seconds later from a goalmouth melee.
Seven minutes on, Osei grabbed his second brace of the competition and his side’s fourth of the game with a superb strike that beat Amajita goalie Ngobeni.
The South Africans replied positively and midfielder Sorero Thulani reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute with a long range effort that surprisingly beat Ghana goalie Daniel Adjei.
Three minutes to full time, Phumelele scored the third goal for the South Africans from the spot after Ghana midfielder Gladson Awakko had fouled him in the penalty area.
The battle of the giants that pitted five-time winners Nigeria against Cameroon produced plenty of excitement, with both sides creating many chances.
Coton Sport striker Jacques Daogari connected with a cross to score from inside the penalty area on 31st minutes.
On 66th minute, Germain Tiko authenticated the lead with a cheeky effort as he punished the Nigerian defence for a blunder in their penalty.
Defender Abdul Karim Lukman had laid a short pass to goalie Ajiboye Muniru, but before Ajiboye could get hold of the ball and Tiko emerged from nowhere and tapped it in.
Nigeria was rewarded a penalty on 75th minute and a perfect opportunity to re-ignite the Flying Eagles’ hopes, but the post again denied skipper Lukman Haruna.
Lukman disposed Cameroon custodian Francois Beyokol but the post was the mercy of the 1995 champions.
Nigeria will face South Africa in a repeat of the Group B clash in the Third place play-off Saturday while Ghana will face Cameroon in a repeat of Group A clash in the African Youth Championship finals on Sunday at Amahoro stadium.
Osei, Ekeng wins Samsung Fairplay Player award
The leading top scorer in this tournament Ransford Osei with five goals and Patrick Ekeng won the Samsung Fairplay Player awards for their discipline and overall performance in yesterday’s matches.
The Maccabi Haifa based player Osei scored a brace for the Black satellites as they overcame South Africa in a dramatic 4-3 victory.
Ekeng was influential and impelled pressure on Nigeria defenders to held Cameroon win the game 2-0. The pair was awarded Samsung phones for their discipline and performance.
Samsung is the official sponsor of the 16th African Youth Championship going on in Kigali.