Ghana’s Black Maidens defeated Liberia’s female Lone Star 2-0 in a 2020 Fifa under-17 women’s World Cup qualifier at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) on Sunday.
It was player Ophelia Serwaa Amponsah’s 20-yard set-piece caught Liberia goalkeeper Jackie Touah unaware few minutes after the second half to put Ghana in the lead. And second-half substitute Salamatu Abdulai ensured the maximum points were secured when she took good advantage of goalie Touah’s failure to properly clear the danger area. The aggregate winner will face the aggregate winner from Nigeria versus Guinea’s two-legged tie in the second round.
Liberia was on the back foot for a better part of the match, hoping to take the Ghanaians, who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, on the break.
Defender Sangay Moulton had Liberia’s best chance in the first half when defender Amanda Powo was fouled on the arch of the 18-yard box but Moulton’s set-piece went straight into arms of goalkeeper Farahana Ziblim.
Head coach Jenkins Doe was forced to make some tactical adjustments when defender Choice Tokpah felt unconscious and was rushed to the John F. Kennedy memorial medical center during the half time break. Tokpah is much better.
Strikers Blessing Kieh and Blessing Nagbe, who was sent-off in the 90th minute, were switched to right-back and central defense.
Liberian President George Weah, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, Sports Minister Zeogar Wilson and Liberia Football Association (LFA) President Mustapha Raji, Vice Presidents Sekou Konneh and Wilmot Smith and Executive Committee members were in the VIP to cheer their team.Liberia is expected to leave on 11 March for Accra to honor the second leg on 15 March.
Liberia: 4-Choice Tokpah, 7-Loretta Sackie (captain), 10-Blessing Kieh, 11-Amanda Powo, 14-Sangay Moulton, 16-Jackie Touah (goalie), 17-Cynthia Nimely, 18-Melissa Gebah, 20-Oretha Tokpah, 21-Blessing Nagbe and 22-Mamie Kallon.
Substitutes: 1-Assata Dulleh, 2-Hawa Fatomah, 6-Zeta Kromah, 8-Bendu Kloty, 9-Edward Jackson, 11-Patience Kawolo and 15-Annieta Tarpeh. Coach Jenkins Doe
Ghana: 1-Farahana Ziblim (goalie), 4-Abena Anoma Opoku, 6-Elshadda Acheampong, 7-Ophelia S. Amponsah, 8-Matilda Bless Fodu, 9-Juanita Aguadze, 10-Basira Alhassan (captain), 11-Grace Animah, 12-Anasthesia Achiaa, 17-Zuleiha Fuseini and 18-Sandra Atinga.
Substitutes: 2-Faiza Seidu, 3-Ayisha Yakubu, 5-Elizabeth Oppong, 13-Salamatu Abdulai, 14-Tracey Twum, 15-Mafia Nyame and 16-Amina Ahamadu. Coach Baba Nuhu
Match officials: referee Fatou Thioune, assistant referee #1 Adia Isseu Cisse, assistant referee #2 Die Alse Sylla, fourth official Mame Coumba Faye (of Senegal) and match commissioner Ayishat Falode (of Nigeria)