Ghana downs Portugal 3:2 for quarter final berth

BY: Isaac Yeboah

The Black Satellites of Ghana continued their lucky ride into progress at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, surviving and then overcoming a gritty challenge by two-time champions Portugal with a 3:2 win for a quarter final berth.


Kennedy Ashia, 19th, Michael Anaba, 79th and Yiadom Boakye, 85th saw off the Portuguese challenge as the three conspirators turned in the crucial goals to help win the day and send Portugal packing.

The Portuguese had been tipped as favourites, coming into the match with the enviable record as the highest scorers so far, against the dodgy Ghanaians who had as their most potent weapon, good luck.

Indeed the Satellites turned out a very lucky side, surviving two glaring first minute scoring opportunities that came the way of the Portuguese, including a 12-second empty net that was blasted over the line from about four metres.

But the Ghanaians lived the rest of that half rather comfortably, rising from those scary moments to virtually control the ensuing minutes with an admirable attacking game that held their favoured opponents at bay. 

Kennedy Ashia, 19th, Michael Anaba, 79th and Yiadom Boakye, 85th saw off the Portuguese challenge as the three conspirators turned in the crucial goals to help win the day and send Portugal packing.

The Portuguese had been tipped as favourites, coming into the match with the enviable record as the highest scorers so far, against the dodgy Ghanaians who had as their most potent weapon, good luck.

Indeed the Satellites turned out a very lucky side, surviving two glaring first minute scoring opportunities that came the way of the Portuguese, including a 12-second empty net that was blasted over the line from about four metres.

But the Ghanaians lived the rest of that half rather comfortably, rising from those scary moments to virtually control the ensuing minutes with an admirable attacking game that held their favoured opponents at bay.

It was not until the 15th minute that Moses Odjier had a clear attempt at goal, shooting powerfully from outside the box and meeting an equal resolve in Jose Sa. A minute later it was goalkeeper Eric Antwi’s turn to save his side as he went low to pick a fluffed shot.

Then in quick succession chances came the way of Kennedy Ashia, first in the 17th minute which he flew as a kite over the opponents bar, and then another in the 19th and he made it count, hitting the inside of the net with a long-range missile of a short that left the favourites stunned.

Again in the 30th and 31st minutes, Eric Antwi had to make two successive saves to keep the Ghanaian dream alive as the Portuguese laid siege on the Ghanaian goal.

When the two sides returned from the break, it was the Portuguese who carried the fight to the Satellites, piecing their passes together and leaving the Satellites either stranded or chasing their shadows. They were rewarded when in the 71st minute Tiago Ferreira powered home on his left foot to level matters. Two minutes later the Portuguese were up in the lead, with Edgar Ie heading in a poorly defended in-swinger.

The goal drew the fight in the Ghanaians as the poured forward in droves in search of the goals. Yiadom Boakye who had taken over from Ashia in the 75th minute failed to score with a shot and the rebound only went as far as another substitute Michael Anaba who simply tapped in the equaliser as the Portuguese defence closed in. Anaba had taken over from Moses Odjier in the 65th minute.

And then came decision time. Ebenezer Assifuah was fouled just outside the Portuguese goal. Yiadom Boakye who elected himself to effect the resultant free kick, whipped a big shot which Portuguese keeper Sa only managed to push into his own net.


Story: Isaac Yeboah/Graphic.com.gh/Ghana