FIFA Under-17 WWC: Ghana top group thanks to Abdulai brace

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Ghana finished as Group A winners at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Uruguay with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in the final Match Day of their group.

The victory which gave them a 100 per cent success in group stage play was all thanks to a brace from captain Mukarama Abdulai.

The match was all about placement, with both sides having confirmed their quarter-final qualification last Match Day out.

The first half was played rather evenly, with Amelia Abbott producing the game’s first significant chance when she attempted a half-volley which flew over the crossbar.

Grace Animah forced Anna Leat into making an excellent save midway through the half.

The Kiwis’ goalkeeper did well to tip her shot over the crossbar while backtracking towards her goal.

Ghana captain and current golden boot leader Abdulai opened the scoring in the 61st minute when she ran on to a long ball lofted over the New Zealand backline.

She controlled the ball after the bounce and directing her shot past Leat into the bottom corner of the net.

Abdulai doubled Ghana’s lead shortly before full time with a driven shot into the near top corner past Leat, to bring her tournament tally to six goals in three matches.

Ghana will face Mexico in the quarter-finals on Sunday in Montevideo.

The Black Maidens have qualified for the last eight for the fourth consecutive time at a U-17 Women’s World Cup.

Their best performance in tournament history came in 2012 when they finished in third.

As Group A runners-up, New Zealand will take on Japan in Colonia Del Sacramento on Saturday.

The Kiwis will be competing in the knockout stage of a U-17 Women’s World Cup for the first time.

Final Group A Table

Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts

Ghana 3 3 – – 10 1 +9 9

New Zealand 3 2 – 1 3 3 0 6

Finland 3 – 1 2 2 5 -3 1

Uruguay 3 – 1 2 2 8 -6 1

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