Head trainer of the Black Princesses (Ghana’s Under-20 women team), Coach Ben Fokuo, has attributed Ghana’s exit at the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, to a second half penalty concession.
The Princesses conceded two second half spot-kicks in their 2-0 loss to defending champions Japan at the Estadio Morera Soto Stadium in Alajuela on Sunday.
Maika Hamano converted from the spot in the 62nd, adding the second of the dead-ball 10 minutes later.
According to Coach Fokuo, the first penalty that was awarded against Ghana, lowered the team spirit of the players “and caused our exit.”
“It is unfortunate we lost our second group game which means for the sixth attempt, we would not make it pass the group stage.
“Our first half performance was better than the second half. We started the second half on a better note until we conceded the penalty which I think pushed the girls down a little bit,” Coach Fokuo said in a post-match interview with Ghanafa.org.
“We conceded another penalty and it is unfortunate to concede through penalty, but I think we played better than our first game. We wanted to go at least to the quarter finals but that didn’t happen. It is sad not to make it this time again so we will go back and work hard so that in the next edition, we will try our best to make it from the group stage,” he added.
Candidly, the Princesses put up a far improved performance against the Japanese and even came to scoring on a number of occasions, but lacked the cutting edge.
Under-strength Princesses suffered a heavy 3-0 loss in their first game to the United States of America, following the exit of Jacqueline Owusu before the break.
With no goals and zero points in two games in Group D, the Ghanaian women can only secure an astonishing spot in the knockout stages by comprehensively beating Netherlands in the last round, and hope Japan crush the USA. It looks almost impossible, though.
On Sunday, the Netherlands – down by a woman, stunningly walloped the USA 3-0, in their second group game.
The Princesses take on the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional De Costa Rica on Wednesday at 22:00 GMT.
BY TIMES SPORTS REPORTER