Nigeria continued their impressive and unbeaten run at the 2015 African Youth Championship when they brushed aside Group B runners-up, Ghana, 2-0 in the first semi-final of the tournament played at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar, Senegal on Wednesday.
Ghana coach Sellas Tetteh made three changes to his side that lost 1-0 to Mali in their last group game. The 2009 World Youth Championship winner recalled Joseph Adjei and Benjamin Tetteh after resting them against Mali, and handed Berekum Chelsea’s Michael Sai his debut game after dropping Mutawakilu Seidu, who kept the post in the previous games.
The Flying Eagles opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Enugu Rangers’ Obinna Nwobodo headed home a cross delivered by captain Musa Mohammed, with his effort bundling off goalkeeper Sai before crossing the goal line.
The Black Satellites responded with a quick counter which resulted in a free kick. Clifford Aboagye laid for Yaw Yeboah, but his strike went too comfortable for Nigeria goalkeeper.
Ghana continued to press for an equaliser however, Tetteh and Yeboah fluffed most of the goal chances with reckless finishing.
Nigeria coach Manu Garba brought in Ibrahim Al-Hassan for Usman Sale before the hour mark. The new entrant immediately earned a clear-cut chance to double his side’s lead but his last ditch effort went too wide.
Ghana had issues compounded 20 minutes from time when B.A United’s left-back Patrick Asmah carelessly brought down Musa in the box, with the referee pointing to the spot kick area.
Musa Mohammed perfectly sent Michael Sai the wrong way to seal his side’s two-goal triumph.
Coach Tetteh brought in Samuel Tetteh for Asiedu Attobrah and Hasaacas’ striker Samuel Afful to replace Clifford Aboagye but the striker could not repeat his heroics when he snatched the match winner against Zambia in the group stages.
Ghana will now meet the looser between Mali and host Senegal in the third-place match.