Two defensive errors and the Ghana Under-20s were equally punished by their Ethiopian hosts in the opening ten minutes of a first leg tie in the 2017 Nations qualifier Sunday afternoon.
The Black Satellites however breath some life into the tie after pulling a goal back two minutes from time to record a 1-2 defeat in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopia took the lead in the 4th minute after Ame Mohammed found the back of the net with a rebound. Surafel Awel’s effort was denied by goalkeeper Kwame Baah before Ame ensured the ball found the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Ame again dispossessed lanky centre-back Issaku Konda after a howler and fired past Kwame Baah to double the lead.
At the start of the second half, coach Mas-ud Dramani effected double substitutions in bid to overturn the score line with the introduction of Moses Sarpong and Evans Mensah for Charles Boateng and Emmanuel Lomotey.
The Black Satellites took the game to their hosts but lacked the cutting edge upfont. Striking pair Dauda Mohammed and Jonathan Osabutey often came close to scoring but it was the latter whose effort in the 88th minute finally went past Ethiopian goalkeeper TekleMariam Shanko.
The Black Satellites return home with a 2-1 loss, needing a minimum 1-0 victory in the return leg in Accra to advance to the final round of the qualifications to the Zambia 2017 championship.
Ghana will host the second leg on the weekend of June 10-12, 2016. The team to advance will face either Tunisia or Senegal in the final qualification phase later in July.
Ethiopia U20 XI
1 TekleMariam Shanko
7 Desta Demu – 6 Tesfaye Shibiru – 2 Haider Mustefa – 3 Daniel Rahmeto
16 Zelalem Esayas – 13 Zerihun Birhanu(C) – 11 Dawit Tefera – 17 Dawit Mamo
9 Ame Mohmmed – 10 Surafel Awol
12 Mintesinot Yegile
18 Habtamu Gezahegn
4 Temesgen Adamu
15 Michael Lema
8 Enyew Kassahun
5 Kidane Assefa
14 Abubeker Sani
Ghana U20 XI:
1 Kwame Baah
17 Enoch Adu – 3 Geofrey Acheampong – 2 Daniel Amoah -15 Ishaku Konda
13 Michel Otuo – 8 Isaac Twum – 14 Emmanuel Lomotey – 18 Jonathan Osabutey
7 Charles Boateng – 10 Dauda Mohamed(c)
4 Mohamed Amando
5 Kingsley Fobi
6 Nicholas Opoku
9 Joseph Paintsil
11 Evans mensah
12 Moses sarpong
16 Benjamin Asiedu