Weakened Black Maidens miss out on U-20 World Cup after defeat to Morocco

Published on: 05 June 2022

Ghana will miss out on the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup for the first time ever after savagely losing a ticket to the India 2022 tournament to Morocco on Saturday.

The Black Maidens went into the tie with a 2-0 advantage from the 1st leg played at the Accra Sports stadium two weeks ago.

Coach Baba Nuhu’s side was forced to field a weakened side after the entire backline including goalkeeper Deborah Brown and defenders Rose Boakyewaa, Magdalene Awuni and Faiza Abdallah were said to have tested positive for COVID-19.

This was after the team was subjected to a number of unsporting treatments from no mandatory training at the match venue, to gender checkup and a frivolous move to weaken the team by wiping out the entire backline.

The Ghanaian delegation protested to the Match Commissioner but it was too little to change the situation as the game went ahead as scheduled.

Morocco started the game fiercely in search of an early goal to unsettle the Maidens as they fetched the opening goal through Fatima El Ghazouani in the 15th minute. The Lioncels missed the chance to take a 2-0 lead as they failed to take advantage of a spot kick in the 42nd minute of the game.

Back from recess, Morocco increased the tally after being gifted a goal through an error by second choice goalkeeper Afi Amenyeku in the 47th minute as she failed to deal with Samya Mansouani’s long range effort.

Ghana played brilliantly from then and even appealed for a penalty but Mauritanian referee Aisaat Amadou waved play on – much to the surprise of the Ghanaian bench.

Morocco kept pushing fir the third goal but the Black Maidens held on to keep the score at 2-0 as they dragged the game into penalty shoot outs after a 2-2 aggregate score.

Morocco went on to win the shootouts 4-2 and book a place at the FIFA World Cup in India – becoming the first North African side to qualify for the competition.

On the other end, the Black Maidens will miss the finals for the first time since its inception in 2008.