Sports U17 Ghana

Boris Thangjam (Blue Jersey No-2) of India and Emmanuel Toku (White Jersey No-10) of Ghana in action during a FIFA U-17 World Cup Group A match between India and Ghana at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi Oct. 12, 2017. (P. Sarkar/IANS photo)

NEW DELHI — Ghana rode on a brace by skipper Eric Ayiah to enter the knockout stages with a 4-0 win over India in their Group A match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here Oct. 12.

Ayiah (43rd, 52nd minutes) struck on either side of the break as Ghana finished the group stage with six points from three matches.

Richard Danso (86th) and Emmanuel Toku (87th) scored in quick succession towards the end.

India ended its maiden appearance at a football World Cup in any age group without opening their account and only one goal to show for their efforts.

Ghana dominated right from the start and took the lead when their captain Ayiah made a superb run from his own half before scoring off the rebound when Indian goalkeeper Dheeraj Moirangthem blocked a pass from Sadiq Ibrahim.

That goal was preceded by a lengthy period of tough, stubborn defending by the Indians.

The Indian players, however, ran out of ideas in the final third.

They showed a distinct lack of composure when in possession and committed a lot of miss passes and errors as a result, losing the ball easily.

Lack of combination and poor awareness upfront repeatedly saw Indian players in possession but with no teammates in good positions to pass to.

Their job was made even tougher by a well-organized Ghana defense, which allowed them very little time and space.

The Africans, on the other hand, showcased excellent skills, tactical awareness and athletic ability.

Ghana right winger Sadiq Ibrahim was a constant threat down the flanks with his speed and accurate balls into the Indian penalty box.

Rashid Alhassan was also excellent on the left wing and Ghana captain Ayiah in the center had a constant stream of good passes and crosses as he used his superb technique and dribbling skills to trouble the Indian defense.

Only some desperate defending by the hosts prevented them from conceding more goals.

Central defenders Anwar Ali and Jitendra Singh put in a tireless performance for India.

But that could not prevent Ayiah from scoring his second goal.

An excellent run saw the Ghana captain in acres of time and space at the edge of the hosts' penalty box as he met a pinpoint pass from Edmund Arko-Mensah with a superb finish.

The hosts virtually gifted away the third goal when Anwar easily lost the ball to Danso who made a speedy run before finishing past Moirangthem.

Tiku scored another soft goal a minute later as the Indians had a disappointing end to their World Cup campaign.

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