The Black Starlets lost 3-1 on penalty shootout to the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria and failed to qualify for the Tanzania 2019 CAF U17 Africa Cup of Nations as Nigeria win the West Zone B qualifying group in Niger.
The tense final ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and penalty shootouts, per the tournament regulations, followed immediately to break the tie.
Only left back Adade Ebenezer scored his kick as skipper Alhassan Uzair, Sampson Agyapong all failed to convert their efforts as the Golden Eaglets scored three of their four attempts.
This is the fourth time Ghana has failed to qualify to the CAF U17 championship whilst the Nigerians, who have won the Africa U17 championship twice and are five-time winners of the FIFA U17 World Cup are returning to the tournament after failing to qualify for the Gabon 2017 edition – where the Starlets finished runners-up to Mali.
Ghanaian Sampson Agyapong saw his brilliant effort in the 41st minute saved by goalkeeper John Amah. Agyapong again tested Amah with another great shot from close range but the Nigerian goalkeeper who was wonderful on the evening parried his effort way.
Ghana suffered a major blow when first choice left back Abdul Samed of Still Believe FC– who sustained an arm injury against Ivory Coast in the semifinals – was named on the bench but the team put the setback behind them to force a penalty shootout against the bitter rivals.
Black Starlets took the lead in the 55th minute by Tophic Shaibu but it didn’t take long for Nigeria to equalize through Akinwunmi Amoo.
Nigeria thus joins Tanzania, Morocco, Cameroon, Uganda and Angola as the already qualified teams.
Ghana starting line-up :
GK David Kudjo
Defenders: Mohammed Samed Abdul Karim, Adade Ebenezer, Alhassan Uzair, Mohammed Umar.
Midfielders: Simon Appiah Asamoah, Rashid Abdul Fuseini, Ransford Koufie, Sampson Agyapong.
Forward: Taufiq Shaibu, Christian Agyenim Boateng.