Ghana reached the semifinals of the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations after a 5-0 victory over hosts Gabon on Wednesday night.
An emphatic result from the Stade de Port-Gentil it is but the high-flying Black Starlets had to overturn an early storm from the Gabon side who produced a stunning display of high-energy football, especially in the first 20 minutes.
Ghana slowly warmed themselves into the game and began to dominate through their wing play, forcing their opponents to commit a number of fouls close to the penalty area. One of such saw defender Ako-Mensah rattle the upright from a free-kick in the 26th minute.
And captain Eric Ayiah went on to record the first goal in the 29th minute after he was brought down in the penalty area by defender Nze Nsome Amvame. Ayiah then expertly placed the ball past goalkeeper Brunel Ilagou from the spot.
Five minutes later, Nze Nsome again saw his attempted clearance bounce off the face of the slippery Emmanuel Toku who took full advantage to make it 2-0.
Ghana went flying and could have scored further before the break but the Gabonese backline did well to clear their lines.
The Black Starlets added three more goals in the second half. Both Ayiah and Toku scored again before substitute Patmos Arhin completed the romp with a gifted goal in the 76th minute.
With a 100 percent record over two games and nine goals, Ghana become the first side to advance to the semifinals of the Afcon and have also secured an automatic place at the Under-17 World Cup slated for India later in October.
Ghana will travel to Libreville to complete their Group A games against Guinea at the Stade de l’Amitié Sino-Gabonaise on Saturday, May 20.
Ghana XI: Danlad Ibrahim – Edmund Arko-Mensah, Najeeb Yakubu, Eric Ayiah (c)/73’ Patmos Arhin, Ibrahim Sulley/68’ Isaac Antah, Emmanuel Toku, Abdul Razak Yusif, Gabriel Leveh/52’ Mohammed Iddriss, Faisal Osman, Gideon Acquah, Bismark Terry Owusu
Unused substitutes: John Otu, Rashid Alhassan, Samuel Mone Andoh, Kwame Aziz, Kingsley Owusu, Michael Acquaye, Kwadwo Opoku
Gabon XI: Brunel Ilagou Ilagou – Franck Aubert Nze Nsome Amvame, Elian Christely Boueni Mayobolo, Aziz Giroly Bourobou Mombo (C), Brimau Kevan Duchamp Nziengui Nziengui, Meshak Babanzila Mayala, Fahd Richard Ndzengue Moubeti, Silvain Mba Edou, Eric Jospin Bekale Biyoghe, Alain Rodrick Miyogho, Brayan Sysi Kassa/54’ Sadidi Abechina Monlade
Unused substitutes: Olabisi Arafat, Kevin Junior Nguechoung, Zico Anderson Eka Nzeng Mba, Azaria Obame, Christophe Ona Nguema, Lhin Keartis Bediki Hangoue Kota, Clooney Oyouomi Yonni, Alex Yowan Kevin Moucketou, Moussounda, Abdoulaye Coulibaly