U-17 World Cup: Akinola goal lifts U.S. over Ghana

USA’s Ayo Akinola (red jersey) and Rashid Alhassan of Ghana battle for the ball during their FIFA U-17 World Cup match on October 9, 2017, in New Delhi, India. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

NEW DELHI, India -- Ayo Akinola scored in the second half and the United States (2W-0D-0L, 6 points) earned a 1-0 win over Ghana (1-0-1, 3) in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup on Monday at Jawaharal Nehru Stadium.

The result means that the Americans will finish the day atop the Group A table, regardless of the final score between Colombia (0-0-1, 0) and host India (0-0-1, 0) later.

Ghana held an 18-11 advantage in shots, but it was Akinola’s in the 75th minute that proved to be the difference.

Chris Durkin gained possession in Ghana territory and did well to dribble out of traffic, ultimately finding Chris Goslin moving towards goal. The Atlanta United youth product then slipped a pass into the right side of the box to Akinola, who beat goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim with his right foot from seven-yards out.

In the 47th minute, Ghana nearly took a 1-0 lead, but couldn’t force the ball over the line from close range as goalkeeper Justin Garces thwarted Gideon Mensah with the bottom of his foot while falling down into the net. Off the rebound, Durkin made a key block on Sadiq Ibrahim’s follow-up effort.

The Ghanaians lost Abdul Yusif to injury in the 85th minute and could not replace him since they had already used their three substitutions.

2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup
October 9, 2017: Jawaharal Nehru Stadium -- New Delhi, India (Att: 17,500)
Ghana-United States 0-1 (0-0)
Ayo Akinola 75’

Ghana: Danlad Ibrahim; Najeeb Yakubu, Eric Ayiah, Kudus Mohammed (Richard Danso 73’), Emmanuel Toku (Ibrahim Sulley 82’), Aminu Mohammed (Gabriel Leveh 57’), Abdul Yusif, Gideon Mensah, Rashid Alhassan, Sadiq Ibrahim, Isaac Gyamfi. Head Coach: Fabian Samuel

USA: Justin Garces; Jaylin Lindsey, Chris Gloster, James Sands, Sergino Dest (Akil Watts 63’), Blaine Ferri, Chris Durkin, Chris Goslin, Tim Weah (Ayo Akinola 63’), Josh Sargent, Andrew Carleton (Indiana Vassilev 81’). Head Coach: John Hackworth

R: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (Greece); AR1: Polichronis Kostaras (Greece); AR2: Lazaros DiMitriadis (Greece); 4th: Esther Staubli (Switzerland)


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