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FIFA U-20 W/Cup: Ghana zoom to final

A thunderbolt  from Abeiku Quansah was the difference as Ghana survived a late comeback from Hungary to book their place in the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009. Leading 2-0 with just under 20 minutes to go thanks to a first half brace from Dominic Adiyiah, Quansah’s 81st minute effort was sandwiched in between strikes from substitutes Marko Futacs and Balazs Megyeri.

Yet, this was a game that Ghana deserved to win. They served notice of their intent as early as the ninth minute when Mohammed Rabiu sent a right footed shot over the bar and a minute later t

FIFA PRESIDENT
FIFA PRESIDENT

hey were ahead. Adam Presinger’s sloppy back pass was seized upon by Andre Ayew, who took it past the keeper, slipped it towards the net and Adiyiah bundled it over the line before Presinger had chance to clear.

The Africans were in complete control in the opening 45 minutes, but had a tendency to surrender possession too easily, which created a few nerves, especially given the calibre of striker that Hungary have in their ranks. Ayew and Osei had shots which were fairly comfortable for Peter Gulasci, but the keeper could do nothing about the Satellites second, which came shortly after the half hour mark.

Samuel Inkoom’s cross from the right was met with a confident downward header by Gulacsi who celebrated his eighth of the tournament in style. The only shot on goal worthy of note from the Europeans during the first half came when Mate Kiss’s free-kick was comfortably claimed by Daniel Agyei.

Just before the break, Osei saw another shot well saved by Gulacsi and Adiyiah went close again with a shot on the turn which went narrowly wide.

Hungary made two changes at the break, which saw Presinger and the injured Nemeth replaced by Balazs Megyeri and Roland Varga respectively. The changes also saw Andras Gosztonyi move into a more advanced role and he almost pulled one back for Hungary in the 48th minute when he dragged a shot just across the face of goal.

Megyeri went close in the 52nd minute when he connected with Gosztonyi’s free-kick at the far post, but his right footed effort cannoned off the outside of the post and away to safety. Varga’s dangerous cross narrowly evaded three Hungarian players and with time ticking away in the 71st minute, it was time for the final throw of the dice, with Marko Futacs coming on for captain Zsolt Korcsmar.

It took two minutes to pay off. Andras Simon slipped the ball to the big striker inside the box and he made no mistake. Predictably, it set up a grandstand finish. Gosztonyi delivered fine balls for Varga and Janos Szabo, but they both wasted their chances, failing even to trouble the keeper.

With Hungary committing men forward, Ghana took advantage. Adiyiah slipped the ball to Opuko Agyemang, who found Quansah on the right side of the box and he crashed a shot off the underside of the crossbar to restore Ghana’s two goal advantage with nine minutes to go.

The Black Satellites  should have been cruising by this point, but a defensive lapse from David Addy allowed Hungary back into the game. The striker’s first touch should have been dealt with by the left back, but his slip allowed Megyeri to take advantage; as all he had to do was pass the ball past Agyei and into the net.

Yet, despite the deficit being reduced once again, it was Ghana who came closest to scoring in added time when Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu rattled the crossbar with a ferocious right footed shot. Two minutes later it was all over and the Black Satellites were celebrating their progression to their third appearance in the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup.


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