India need to win their final group match against Ghana by a huge margin to ensure qualification to the knockout round. That, however, will be a very tough task for the players and will have to overcome a Ghanaian team that possesses some exciting talents.
Ghana, who have a rich pedigree in the Under-17 World Cup, have two players who are regarded among the world’s best in this age-group. Striker Eric Ayiah won the silver boot at the Under-17 African Championships in Gabon this year by scoring four out of Ghana’s nine goals in the tournament.
Ayiah, who wears number 6 jersey as a tribute to Ghana’s Independence Day (March 6), has looked ominous here as well. He recorded an assist in his side’s win against Colombia in the opening match. He picked up the ball on the left flank, carried it forward and played a cross that found his teammate Sadiq Ibrahim, who tapped in at the back post. Although Ayiah had a mediocre game against the USA, he remains the biggest threat up front for India.
While Ghana possess one of the best attacking units of the Under-17 World Cup, their quality at the back has not gone unnoticed. Danlad Ibrahim is only 14 but is more than six-foot tall and he has used his large frame to his advantage. Danlad won the golden gloves award at the Under-17 African Championships after his side finished with the best defensive record in the tournament, conceding just one goal — a penalty in the final. Danlad kept four clean sheets in the lead up to the final.
Although Ghana have not been able to find their attacking rhythm, the team has looked solid at the back, with Danlad playing a crucial role. It will take something special for the Indian strikers to beat the tall goalkeeper.