Ghana and the United States of America would look to seal a knock-out berth when they face off in their second group match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in New Delhi.
Both USA and Ghana began their campaigns on a winning note, defeating India (3-0) and Colombia (1-0) respectively, and a victory tomorrow in the Group A match by either side would take them to the round of 16.
A draw will put both of them in a strong position to be in the knock-out stage as two top teams from each group and the four next best-placed teams overall will make it to the next round.
USA had a relatively easier outing in their campaign opener while Ghana had to toil hard to overcome Colombia by a solitary goal. In fact, Colombia dominated most of the first half before Ghana took the upper hand.
Striker Sadiq Ibrahim scored the lone goal in the 39th minute. The two teams have met twice before in the U-17 World Cup, with the Black Starlets claiming 2-0 wins in both 1995 in Quito and 1999 in Auckland.
Ghana, two-time champions at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1991 and 1995, are looking to end their 22-year trophy drought in a tricky group. Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin had said that his team will play attacking football against USA to seal early qualification to the knockout round.
“We want to qualify with the second game, so we are going to go all out in the second game to get another three points to guarantee a place in the next stage,” Fabin said.
Goal-scorer Sadiq and goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim were excellent against Colombia while the Ghana defence was also solid in that game.
The Ghana defence will have to maintain their good show tomorrow as the USA looked a potent attacking force in their 3-0 win over India. Josh Sargent, who is set to join Bundesliga side Werder Bremen next year, Chris Durkin and Andre Carleton were in fine touch.
Ghana: Ibrahim Danlad, Michael Acquaye, Kwame Aziz, Najeeb Yakubu, Gideon Mensah, Bismark Terry Owusu, Edmund Arko-Mensah, Abdul Razak Yusif, Gideon Acquah, Rashid Alhassan, John Otu, Isaac Gyamfi, Gabriel Leveh, Ibrahim Sulley, Mohammed Kudus, Emmanuel Toku, Mohammed Iddriss, Eric Ayiah, Richard Danso, Mohammed Aminu, Ibrahim Sadiq.
USA: Alex Budnik, Carlos Joaquim Dos Santos, Justin Garces, Sergino Dest, Christopher Gloster, Jaylin Lindsey, James Sands, Tyler Shaver, Akil Watts, George Acosta, Taylor Booth, Christopher Durkin, Blaine Ferri, Chris Goslin, Indiana Vassilev, Ayo Akinola, Andrew Carleton, Jacobo Reyes, Bryan Reynolds, Joshua Sargent, Tim Weah.