Black Maidens miss semis from the spot

10 years ago

Ghana lose 4-3 on penalties to Italy in the last-eight contest of the U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup on Thursday after drawing 2-2 in normal time.

Vinoria Kuzagbe and Ernestina Abambila missed from the spot as Marta Vergani slotted home to seal qualification for Italy, who missed their first attempt.

A 90th minute equaliser by Abambila saved Ghana's blushes and pushed the game into penalties after the Black Maidens had trailed Italy 2-1 for 73 minutes.

Despite taking a 4th minute lead through Jane Ayieyam's header from a Lily Niber-Lawrence's cross from the right, Ghana were soon unsettled by the European side.

Four minutes after the opener, Ghana were pegged back when Gloria Marinelli rose above her marker to direct the ball to goalkeeper Azume Adams' far post.

Nine minutes after the equaliser and referee Fusako Kajiyama made a big call by awarding a penalty against Ghana.

Manuela Giugliano stepped up to beat Adams from the spot to hand Italy the lead.

Ghana pushed to draw level and when they thought they had won a penalty after Laadi Issaka ahead been felled in the box, the referee waived off their appeals.

The Black Maidens returned from the break and carried the game to their opponents but it was the Italians who came close after earning their second penalty.

This time round, Giugliano skied her kick handing Ghana a way back into the game.

In 82nd minute Ghana had the ball at the back of the net but the assistant referee flagged for an offside when an Italian player was stuck on the line at the time the ball was tapped in from a goalmouth melee.

But in the 90th minute, Abambilla who received a booking that ruled her out of the next game if Ghana had progress struck a free kick from the edge of the box into the top corner for the equaliser.