The two teams that will qualify from Group D hinges on the final matches to be played tomorrow and the teams with realistic chances are relishing their chances to make it to the next round of the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup (WWC) taking place in Jordan.
While Japan are through to the quarter-finals of the competition, USA and Ghana’s Black Maidens both stand a chance but they must win their final group game to qualify. USA face a tricky match against Japan, who are the defending champions, with Ghana playing Paraguay who are on their way home having lost their two games.
Head-to-head, the Ghanaians will have an edge over the Americans if the results of the final game end in a win, draw or loss for both of them. But the Maidens are not taking chances and have vowed to win against Paraguay to take care of business.
Though a win of any kind will send the Maidens through, Coach Evans Adotey has hinted that they are also going to try their luck on an avalanche of goals to completely restore the growing confidence of his team.
Last Tuesday, the Maidens handed themselves a lifeline with a 2-1 win over the USA and now need to wrap up their progression to the next stage with another win in the final game.
Coach Evans Adotey, well aware of the stakes, says they are not taking chances and will “charge on the Paraguayans to claim the points needed to advance.”
“The win against USA was important as it gave us hope of survival. Now we need to survive and the only way to do that is to win our final game. Having lost to both USA and Japan, Paraguay may want to play it tough against us, as they have nothing to lose. But we have all to play for and we, therefore, must go all out to ensure victory comes our way.
“If USA and Japan were able to score as many goals as they did against Paraguay, why can’t we also try our luck too. All we need is a win, but we want to go into the second goals with confidence and scoring more in this final game could help,” Coach Adotey told the Graphic Sports.
He admitted there were still some rough edges to smoothen out in the team despite the win against USA and they [technical team] have worked on that, particularly their inability to settle down early in the two games played so far.
“In both games, we conceded early goals and that was worrisome. We are working on that to ensure that it does not happen in the final group game,” Coach Adotey said.
It’s the first time that the two sides will be meeting in women’s football, but if history is anything to go by, then the Maidens have a slight advantage having beaten Uruguay 5-0 in the 2012 event in Azerbaijan and will be eager to replicate that feat tomorrow.