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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Two-time champions Ghana look to end title drought

Ghana, two-time champions at the FIFA U-17 World Cup, will be looking to end their 22-year trophy drought

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Sep 30, 2017 15:25 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
FIFA U-17 World Cup,2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup,Ghana football team
Ghana have been one of the strongest sides in FIFA U-17 World Cup history.(AFP)

Ghana have been one of the strongest sides in FIFA U-17 World Cup history, the African heavyweights having won the competition twice (1991 and 1995). However, the Black Starlets have not won the title since and the current side will be looking to end their 22-year trophy drought. This will be their ninth appearance in the FIFA U-17 World Cup and Paa Kwesi Fabin’s side will surely be one of the favourities considering their performance in the CAF qualifiers.

READ | Players choose Amarjit Singh to lead India in Fifa Under-17 World Cup football

KNOW THE COACH: Paa Kwesi Fabin

Paa Kwasi Fabin is also in charge of Ghanaian club Inter Allies and a major figure in Ghana football. Despite reports that he hasn’t been paid for two years, he is focusing on the job at hand, saying salary issues can be sorted later.

PAST PERFORMANCE: Champions: 1991, 1995. Runners-up: 1993, 1997. Third place: 1999. Fourth place: 2007. Group stage: 1989, 2005. Did not qualify: 1985-87, 2001-03, 2009-15.

PASSAGE TO INDIA: Ghana qualified by virtue of being runners-up in the CAF U-17 African Cup of Nations.

Results in CAF U-17: Bt Cameroon 4-0; bt Gabon 5-0, dw V Guinea 0-0; bt Niger 6-5 on penalties; lost 0-1 to Mali.

POSSIBLE GAME-CHANGERS

Name: Eric Ayiah

Age: 17

Club: Charity Stars FC

Position: Forward

Why he is special: The talented striker has been an asset for his side and, according to the local media, has signed a contract with FC Porto where he will join after the World Cup. The Ghana skipper was the joint top scorer of the 2017 AFCON alongside Djibril Toure of Guinea and he will look to continue the brilliant run in India.

Name: Emmanuel Toku

Age: 17

Club: Cheetah FC

Position: Midfielder

Why he is special: The central midfielder has been an integral part of the Black Starlets and his work rate has made him quite famous among the country’s football fans. The Cheetah FC star was brilliant in the 2017 African Cup of Nations scoring four goals and winning Man-of-the-Match awards. He is reportedly being courted by PSG, Lyon and Manchester City.

Name: Ibrahim Danlad

Age: 14

Club: Asante Kotoko FC

Position: Goalkeeper

Why he is special: The goalkeeper was been the backbone of the Ghana team in the 2017 African Cup of Nations and with four clean sheets, he was one of the breakout stars. The 14-year old won the ‘Golden Glove’ award after conceding just once in the entire competition.

First Published: Sep 20, 2017 14:52 IST