India’s 42- minute resistance was ruthlessly crushed by marauding Ghana who pulverized the hosts 4-0 in their last group A league match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Thursday.
The fancied African side who were given some torrid time by the Indians in the first 25 minutes of the match, pumped out all their pent up frustration by firing four goals in a space of 44 minutes to end whatever hopes the hosts may have entertained.
India finished with no points having lost all their three matches conceding 9 goals while scoring one. Ghana ended the league with six points, from two victories and a defeat.
The Africans displayed amazing speed and after misfiring for most of the first session, they regained the control of the game and with awesome fire power decimated the Indian citadel.
For the winners Eric Ayiah (43, 50) Richard Danso (86) and Emmanuel Toku (87) were the goal scorers.
India made four changes in their starting XI. Aniket Jadhav, Jitendra Singh, Nondgamba Naorem and Suresh Wangjam in place of Rahim Ali, N Meetei, Namit Deshpande and Abhijit Sarkar.
India needed clear 2-0 victory margin to keep their hopes alive and for that they went with a 4-3-3 format. The hosts started on aggressive note and caught the Ghanaian defence unaware as they forced a corner kick in the very first minute. The African retaliation was quick and incisive but the Indian defence marshalled by Boris Singh and Anwar Ali thwarted their moves.
The Ghanaians played with furious pace but their speed did not match with marksmen ship. Adding to their discomfort was goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh who brought off superb saves.
The Indian counter was led by Aniket Jadhav with Jeakson and Naorem providing able support. The hosts surprised the visitors with their ability to match the pace and technique for most of the first half.
Indians made moves but never seriously threatened the rival support but with 50,000 strong crowd giving them full throttle support. Amarjit Kiyam and his boys kept the Ghanaians unsettled for first 20 minutes.
The Africans looked frustrated as they increased the pressure but were not able to breach the Indian defence.
Their star striker Sadiq Ibarhim along with captain Eric Ayiah created some moves but poor finishing created more desperation in their camp.
Indians on the other hand played looked adventurous. While attacking they left of space for their rivals but that did not bother them as they needed a victory to remain relevant in the competition. Time and again the Indian defence was tested by Ayia, Sadiq and Gyamfi but they could not get to the target.
In the 37th minute, Issac Gyamfi’s right footer just went over the bar. But the Indian challenge was too good to last long.
The Africans took the lead on the stroke of half-time as Ayiah who finally gets his first goal of the tournament. It was once again all Sadiq Ibrahim on the right flank. He beat Stalin easily and sent in a low dangerous cross across the box. Dheeraj got his hands to it but Ayiah was there on the rebound to send the ball home.
Eight minutes into the second session,Ghana breached the Indian goal again. This time Arko Mensah rand down from the flank and sent a low cross which Jitendra managed to block but could not clear it properly and Mensah relays it to Ayiah at the edge of the box. Ghana forward unleashed a rocket of a shot which nestles in the lower right corner leaving Dheeraj Singh with no chance. (2-0).
Indians tried to retaliate but by this time the Africans were in flow, they kept on attacking the hosts who fell back to defend leaving the mid-field open for the rivals.
Two long rangers from Indian strikers were cleared by goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim as coach Matos brought in Rahim Ali in place of Amarjit Kiyam but it turned out to be a cosmetic change.
As time ticked away the Africans seemed to be in a savage mood. They slotted two more goals through Richard Danso and Emmanuel Toku to bring down the hosts on earth with big thud.