Agambilla's re-take was cold-blooded inspiration.
Black Maidens
Black Maidens

A proud Ghana comeback meant the game ended 2-2 full time until unsuccessful 4-3 penalties meant Black Maidens are coming home.

Italy was forced to use penalties to knock out Ghana’s guts as a gritty quarter-final clash was largely decided by crosses, dead ball situations and a combined tally of 36 fouls.

But the game was a deja-vu of controversial decisions against Ghana or African teams at world tournaments.

Sensible penalty decisions were denied the Black Maidens, outrageous ones given the Azzurris as a Japanese referee’s different sets of logic meant Ghana squeezed out of the World U-17. But not without admirable bravery – Yaa Asantewaa style.

In Accra, many Ghanaians weathered the sleepy effects of a chilly weather to stay wide-eyed Thursday night.

Ghana’s Black Maidens needed to finish a Costa Rican job by dispatching Italy in a quarter-final clash at the ongoing U-17 Women’s World Cup.

‘Let’s go, we can beat them’, a Ghanaian lady shouted in twi from the technical area and just as immediately, a good Niber-Lawrence’s cross from the right found Jane Ayieyam who headed past goalkeeper Francesca Durante in just inside four minutes.

But the celebration lasted only four minutes. ?Gloria Marinelli ?popped out of a bunch of defenders and attackers in the 18-yard box to head the ball quite unexpectedly – catching Adams flatfooted

These Italian crosses were to threaten Ghana’s goal area time and time again. The Azzurris relied on their lateral sides using Marinelli and Guiliano as outlets for their attack.

Hardly needing to string passes together, the Italians simply used accurate long passes and long crosses to pick out their wide women while the others rushed into the box to met a cross or search for shooting opportunities.

And it paid off.

A long ball into the penalty box was headed wide by an Italian after she jumped into a Ghanaian so that what looked like a foul in Ghana’s favour was adjudged a penalty by the referee.

“There didn’t seem much to it” – commentator noted. A shot-loving Giugliano ?used power past Adams into the top of the net to give Italy the lead on the 17th minute.

The maidens from then on appeared shaken – the goal had worked its way not only into the net but into their heads as a loss of concentration meant poor passing and avoidable offsides.

“Ghana hasn’t settled into their passing rhythm”, the commentator observed. Four fouls, two offsides ?in 10 minutes

The referee, Fusako Kajiyama appeared determined to blunt or tame Ghana’s physical edge with several whistles against the Black Maiden’s especially on Issaka and Agambilla anytime they made a challenge.

The game will see three more Italian shots at goal on the 30th, 41st and 43rd minutes but several more fouls from Ghana as the referee felt an over-zealous in protecting the Italians.

The Italians must have noticed because they began pointing out decisions for the referee to rule in their favour.

Agambilla took off Giugliano’s legs mid-air. And her attempt to shoot from long range was blocked as Cavicchia slid in a highly committed challenge. She limped off painfully for her bravery. All Agambilla needed was a spray on her shin.

A pre-mature subsitution saw Merlo come off ?the bench to replace?Bergamaschi on the 43rd minute

Confidence was however seeping into the Ghana side after thirty minutes as once again, a Niber-Lawrence cross floated so teasingly past the side post and out of play.

The Italians used the left wing to make an incursion as an attacker while racing with the ball into the Ghana box was met with a gladiator challenge from an onrushing keeper.

Goalkeeper Adams rolling in some pain, needed words to get up from the turf, Piermonte needed her physios to continue.

A Ghanaian attacker was properly located in the box from a cross but as she tried to muscle her way into position for a revenge shot, she fell from what appeared to be a clip on her heel.

If the referee’s logic in awarding the first remained the same logic at play, the Black Maiden’s will feel they deserved a penalty.

Fusako Kajiyama was proving to be the Azzuri’s 12th man.

Anfobea’s 40th minute freekick went straight into ?Durante’s hands. ?Isaac Vorsah’s ?lookalike captain Fusseini ?left ?the field to get treatment on her eye.

Despite a missing link between midfield and attack, the Black Maidens, whenever the lost possession, retreated quickly – like a snail’s antenna recoils at the scent of danger.

And they close down well too.

Predictably, Ghana resumed the second half with confidence fully restored. A coach Adotey pep talk translated into two good chances inside two short minutes, with a 48th-minute long shot ?well saved.

A fluke attempt at looping the ball on the edge of the penalty box glanced so painfully past the goal.

Ghana was now highly dependent on Niber-Lawrence’s crosses from the right as her side was upgraded into the team’s main outlet for attacks.

The Maiden’s 48 and 56 and 58th-minute efforts were well saved, Italy’s? 50th and 55th minute – well missed.

The referee put herself under further spotlight after she pointed to the spot following what she ruled as a foul.

On-rushing Adams intimidatingly slid out at on-rushing Guigliano after she hit a pretty lame low shot past the left post in a one-one situation.

Giugliano, an ever-potent threat impotently hit a shot over the bar in huge relief to Ghana.

Afobea run cross the edge of the Italy box looking for a spot, pulled the trigger which was well saved on 61st minute and Owusu Ansah was no Wayne Rooney on the 62nd.

She tried a slight resemblance of the Manchester Utd forwards last week historic shot hit, just some meters after the center circle.

The Maidens played searchingly like they had been promised a T.B Joshua win, the Italians cut worried figures as the game eased into 70th minute.

Ghana’s goal on the 78th minute was adjudged offside after two scrappy attempts inside the box found the net.

Coach Adotey was screaming, cursing, swearing injustice as precious time ticked away.

The Italians were beginning to abandon attack as their best attackers – Guigliano, Piemonte, Manallei -were found doing hardcore defensive duties.

Serturini? came off the bench to replace?Marinelli? and Ghana’s Opoku replaced?Abdul-Rahman.

Desperate, adrenaline-driven,fearless, Ghana’s keen attacking sense seen in the German game was awaken as 76th, 78th, 86th attempts at goal challenged keeper Durante to show her mettle.

The bench were seen praying when the referee awarded a 90th minute freekick just outside the box. The referee whistled for the shot to be re-taken after an Italian foul.

Agambilla’s re-take ?was cold-blooded inspiration.

 

Emestina Abambila #7 of Ghana celebrates after scoring the equalizing goal during the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2014 quarter final match between Ghana and Italy at Estadio Nacional on March 27, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo by Martin Rose – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

As the ball bent over the wall, Durante who might have thought she had picked its direction suddenly saw the ball arch like a banana into the net.

A lifeline right on the deadline – the 90th minute – to prolong the game into penalty shoot-out.

Guigliano sat on the field like she had lost. She would be recalling how a 17th-minute lead had been so sourly tested, battered and broken on the stroke of final whistle.

Her bench looked misty-eyed and yet the penalty taking session had not even started.

In the shootout, Ghana’s huge psychological advantage remained underutilized as substitute Kuzagbe and free-kick sensation Agambilla wrecked their attempts at goal.

A substitute full back Vergani,?hammered in the last nail into the coffin of a team that just refused to die for so long.

 

Source Myjoyonline

?(Sports)

 

A proud Ghana comeback meant the game ended 2-2 full time until unsuccessful 4-3 penalties meant Black Maidens are coming home.

Italy was forced to use penalties to knock out Ghana’s guts as a gritty quarter-final clash was largely decided by crosses, dead ball situations and a combined tally of 36 fouls.

But the game was a deja-vu of controversial decisions against Ghana or African teams at world tournaments.

Sensible penalty decisions were denied the Black Maidens, outrageous ones given the Azzurris as a Japanese referee’s different sets of logic meant Ghana squeezed out of the World U-17. But not without admirable bravery – Yaa Asantewaa style.

In Accra, many Ghanaians weathered the sleepy effects of a chilly weather to stay wide-eyed Thursday night.

Ghana’s Black Maidens needed to finish a Costa Rican job by dispatching Italy in a quarter-final clash at the ongoing U-17 Women’s World Cup.

‘Let’s go, we can beat them’, a Ghanaian lady shouted in twi from the technical area and just as immediately, a good Niber-Lawrence’s cross from the right found Jane Ayieyam who headed past goalkeeper Francesca Durante in just inside four minutes.

But the celebration lasted only four minutes. ?Gloria Marinelli ?popped out of a bunch of defenders and attackers in the 18-yard box to head the ball quite unexpectedly – catching Adams flatfooted

These Italian crosses were to threaten Ghana’s goal area time and time again. The Azzurris relied on their lateral sides using Marinelli and Guiliano as outlets for their attack.

Hardly needing to string passes together, the Italians simply used accurate long passes and long crosses to pick out their wide women while the others rushed into the box to met a cross or search for shooting opportunities.

And it paid off.

A long ball into the penalty box was headed wide by an Italian after she jumped into a Ghanaian so that what looked like a foul in Ghana’s favour was adjudged a penalty by the referee.

“There didn’t seem much to it” – commentator noted. A shot-loving Giugliano ?used power past Adams into the top of the net to give Italy the lead on the 17th minute.

The maidens from then on appeared shaken – the goal had worked its way not only into the net but into their heads as a loss of concentration meant poor passing and avoidable offsides.

“Ghana hasn’t settled into their passing rhythm”, the commentator observed. Four fouls, two offsides ?in 10 minutes

The referee, Fusako Kajiyama appeared determined to blunt or tame Ghana’s physical edge with several whistles against the Black Maiden’s especially on Issaka and Agambilla anytime they made a challenge.

The game will see three more Italian shots at goal on the 30th, 41st and 43rd minutes but several more fouls from Ghana as the referee felt an over-zealous in protecting the Italians.

The Italians must have noticed because they began pointing out decisions for the referee to rule in their favour.

Agambilla took off Giugliano’s legs mid-air. And her attempt to shoot from long range was blocked as Cavicchia slid in a highly committed challenge. She limped off painfully for her bravery. All Agambilla needed was a spray on her shin.

A pre-mature subsitution saw Merlo come off ?the bench to replace?Bergamaschi on the 43rd minute

Confidence was however seeping into the Ghana side after thirty minutes as once again, a Niber-Lawrence cross floated so teasingly past the side post and out of play.

The Italians used the left wing to make an incursion as an attacker while racing with the ball into the Ghana box was met with a gladiator challenge from an onrushing keeper.

Goalkeeper Adams rolling in some pain, needed words to get up from the turf, Piermonte needed her physios to continue.

A Ghanaian attacker was properly located in the box from a cross but as she tried to muscle her way into position for a revenge shot, she fell from what appeared to be a clip on her heel.

If the referee’s logic in awarding the first remained the same logic at play, the Black Maiden’s will feel they deserved a penalty.

Fusako Kajiyama was proving to be the Azzuri’s 12th man.

Anfobea’s 40th minute freekick went straight into ?Durante’s hands. ?Isaac Vorsah’s ?lookalike captain Fusseini ?left ?the field to get treatment on her eye.

Despite a missing link between midfield and attack, the Black Maidens, whenever the lost possession, retreated quickly – like a snail’s antenna recoils at the scent of danger.

And they close down well too.

Predictably, Ghana resumed the second half with confidence fully restored. A coach Adotey pep talk translated into two good chances inside two short minutes, with a 48th-minute long shot ?well saved.

A fluke attempt at looping the ball on the edge of the penalty box glanced so painfully past the goal.

Ghana was now highly dependent on Niber-Lawrence’s crosses from the right as her side was upgraded into the team’s main outlet for attacks.

The Maiden’s 48 and 56 and 58th-minute efforts were well saved, Italy’s? 50th and 55th minute – well missed.

The referee put herself under further spotlight after she pointed to the spot following what she ruled as a foul.

On-rushing Adams intimidatingly slid out at on-rushing Guigliano after she hit a pretty lame low shot past the left post in a one-one situation.

Giugliano, an ever-potent threat impotently hit a shot over the bar in huge relief to Ghana.

Afobea run cross the edge of the Italy box looking for a spot, pulled the trigger which was well saved on 61st minute and Owusu Ansah was no Wayne Rooney on the 62nd.

She tried a slight resemblance of the Manchester Utd forwards last week historic shot hit, just some meters after the center circle.

The Maidens played searchingly like they had been promised a T.B Joshua win, the Italians cut worried figures as the game eased into 70th minute.

Ghana’s goal on the 78th minute was adjudged offside after two scrappy attempts inside the box found the net.

Coach Adotey was screaming, cursing, swearing injustice as precious time ticked away.

The Italians were beginning to abandon attack as their best attackers – Guigliano, Piemonte, Manallei -were found doing hardcore defensive duties.

Serturini? came off the bench to replace?Marinelli? and Ghana’s Opoku replaced?Abdul-Rahman.

Desperate, adrenaline-driven,fearless, Ghana’s keen attacking sense seen in the German game was awaken as 76th, 78th, 86th attempts at goal challenged keeper Durante to show her mettle.

The bench were seen praying when the referee awarded a 90th minute freekick just outside the box. The referee whistled for the shot to be re-taken after an Italian foul.

Agambilla's re-take  was cold-blooded inspiration.
Agambilla’s re-take was cold-blooded inspiration.

Emestina Abambila #7 of Ghana celebrates after scoring the equalizing goal during the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2014 quarter final match between Ghana and Italy at Estadio Nacional on March 27, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo by Martin Rose – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

As the ball bent over the wall, Durante who might have thought she had picked its direction suddenly saw the ball arch like a banana into the net.

A lifeline right on the deadline – the 90th minute – to prolong the game into penalty shoot-out.

Guigliano sat on the field like she had lost. She would be recalling how a 17th-minute lead had been so sourly tested, battered and broken on the stroke of final whistle.

Her bench looked misty-eyed and yet the penalty taking session had not even started.

In the shootout, Ghana’s huge psychological advantage remained underutilized as substitute Kuzagbe and free-kick sensation Agambilla wrecked their attempts at goal.

A substitute full back Vergani,?hammered in the last nail into the coffin of a team that just refused to die for so long.

 

Source Myjoyonline

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