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U-17 WWC: Morocco qualify for India 2022 at Ghana’s expense

Ghana will miss the trip to the Fifa U-17 Women’s World Cup for the first time ever after cruelly losing a ticket to the India 2022 edition to Morocco Saturday night.

The Black Maidens went into the second leg with a 2-0 advantage from the first leg played in Accra a fortnight ago.

Seeking to overturn the deficit at the Moulay El Hassan Complex in Rabat, the Atlas Lioncelles started brightly through Fatima El Ghazouani’s 15th-minute opener and missed a chance from the spot three minutes before the break.

Morocco resumed the second half on a high and profited from a blunder by second-choice goalkeeper Afi Amenyeku to double their lead through Samya Mansaoui in the 47th minute.

The hosts pushed for another but keeper Amenyeku made up for her earlier blunders to keep the visitors in the mix as they dragged the game into penalty shootouts after a 2-2 aggregate score.

Morocco went on to win the shootouts 4-2 and book their ticket to India 2022. They become the first North African side to qualify for the finals.

For Ghana, it was a disappointing evening as the Black Maidens will miss the U-17 Women’s World Cup for the first time, having featured in all previous six editions since the inception of the competition.

Cry of foul play

Prior to the game, Ghana were allegedly subjected to hush treatment by the hosts from no mandatory training at the match venue, to gender checkup, and then a dubious means of weakening the team by wiping out of virtually the entire backline of first-choice goalkeeper Deborah Brown and defenders Rose Boakyewaa, Magdalene Awuni and Faiza Abdulai with positive COVID tests.

Aside from kickoff also delaying by almost 30 minutes and no live streaming of the match as has been done throughout the qualifying rounds, Ghana who were trailing 1-0 could not use their dressing room at halftime as the place had been sprayed with offensive chemicals.

 

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