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Penalties again; as Ivory Coast defeat Ghana to take first ticket to Tokyo 2020

The National U23 team, the Black Meteors lose 3-2 on penalties to their Ivorian counterparts as they look to 3rd and 4th place for qualification to Olympic games.

The Penalty shootout curse continues as Ghana lose 3-2 on penalties to their Ivorian counterparts after the game ended 2-2 after extra time.

The Ivorians started the game very much the side on top, possessing the ball very well and making pure difficult for the Meteors.

They were soon rewarded for their effort as Youseef Dau crept behind a sleeping Ghanaian defence to latch unto a pass before finishing Cooley past the helpless Kwame Baah.

This began a half of Ivorian dominance as they pressured the Black Meteors, creating chance after chance

Dau missed soon after from close range with only Naah to beat while Cheick was unlucky to not be awarded a penalty after being brought down in the box by Baah on another occasion.

The Ivorians took a 1-0 lead to the break but the scoreline was rather flattering to the Meteors as it wasn’t a true reflection of their poor performance.

The Ghanaians have gained a reputation of being a ‘second half’ team. This was the case again as they turned the switch on and moved up three gears as they searched hard for an equaliser.

That came early in the second half, after Yaw Obeng’s hopeful cut back was slotted home by captain Yaw Yeboah. Against the run of play, Ghana were level.

After the goal, the Ivorians tried to regain control of the game but they faced a stiffer opposition with Ghana in a stronger position.

They came close to scoring again after Daka headed wide from close range

They were not to be denied in the 84th minute however as Dau hit the target once more with a brilliant header.

The Ivorians thought they had got the winner but there was another twist in this tie as Ghana equalised in added time after Kwabena Owusu showed great perseverance to find Evans Mensah, who duly slotted home for the second equaliser to take the game into extra time.

30 minutes of extra time saw both sides go for it with Evans Mensah and Samuel Obeng coming close for Ghana and Baah having to be alert to stop Dau from getting a hattrick.

The game then went to penalties. Kwabena Owusu, Emmanuel Cudjoe and Evans Mensah missed as Ghana once again fail to win another penalty shootout.

Ghana will now have to wait for the 3rd and 4th place play off game to qualify for next summer’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

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Written by Eli Avot

Eli is a determined young man driven by his will to succeed and his passion for sports. Writer, presenter, pundit.

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