New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) Two-time champions Ghana defeated Colombia 1-0 in the opening Match of Group A at the FIFA U-17 World Cup here on Friday.
Sadiq Ibrahim scored the only goal of the game in the 39th minute to give Ghana three points for the win.
The boys from Africa seemed more at ease in the hot and humid conditions than their Colombian counterparts. Despite the stifling heat, the two-time champions produced impressive pace which troubled the Colombian defence on several occasions.
Both teams created plenty of scoring chances although Ghana enjoyed the upper hand.
Ghana had the first clear chance in the 15th minute when Sadiq powered a diagonal long ranger from the left wing which was blocked by Colombia goalkeeper Kevin Mier at his near post.
Colombia struck back at the other end with an effort going inches wide of the post. A couple of minutes later, Colombia’s Leandro Campaz made a solo run, dribbling past the Ghana defence before his shot was blocked by goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim.
Ghana missed a sure goal in the 26th minute when an unmarked Sadiq headed a cross from the left by Eric Ayiah over the bar from the edge of the six yard box.
Sadiq did manage to find the net in the very next minute but the goal was ruled offside.
The hunt for the opening goal ended in the 39th minute off a fast counter attack when Ayiah placed a pass across the mouth of the goal and Sadiq tapped in at the far post.
Sadiq created another entertaining piece of football when he dribbled past Colombia defender Juan Penaloza and barged into the penalty box from the right before producing a back pass which was powered over the bar by Mohammed Kudus.
Emmanuel Toku created another chance for the Africans in the 73rd minute when his through into the Colombia penalty box found Eric Ayah whose attempt was blocked by Mier.
Mier was forced to make another save a couple of minutes later when he kept out Mohammed Aminu’s shot at his near post.
Colombia almost found the equaliser off a counter attack in the 81st minute when left winger Deiber Caicedo latched on to pass from the midfield and made a speedy run into the Ghana penalty box.
His shot beat Ghana goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim but was inches wide of the post.
Unfortunately for the South Americans, that was the last chance they would manage in this game as Ghana started their bid for a third title on a winning note.