Our Princesses Have Made Us Proud - Ankrah

Ghana's Youth and Sports Minister Hon Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has hailed the guts of the female Under 20 national football team, the Black Princesses. He has also called the Ghana FA boss currently in South Africa to congratulate him on yet another World Cup berth under his administration.

After a 1-0 loss from the first leg in Malabo, the Ghanaians knew that they needed two clear goals to book their qualification. However, the tie went right down to the wire as the Princesses kept their nerves against their physically superior opponents from Equatorial Guinea in a tense but thrilling 4-3 penalty shootout win.

Ghana missed their first kick but recovered to convert the fifth penalty through substitute Fatima Alhassan.

The feat received thunderous and spontaneous jubilation from the stands as the girls celebrated on the pitch with officials and team mates following their qualification for this year's FIFA U20 Women's World Cup in Canada.

''This was a tough match against a very good opponent. It is not always that you will play well and win but the girls kept working hard and kept believing even after a poor start during the penalty shootout''.

The Minister gave the team a short but rousing pre-match motivational talk and joined them in prayer before they entered the pitch. ''His Excellency the President has sent me to wish you well. Let me tell you that there is no way Equatorial Guinea will leave here with anything. This is our land Ghana so let us show them we cannot be beaten''

Indeed after just five minutes, the hosts took an early lead from a header by Beatrice Sesu which gave the home crowd hope of a straightforward win in regulation time. But after 90 minutes, the tie was evenly balanced at 1-1 on aggregate.

Minister Afriyie Ankrah said that the team will have to prepare very well for the tournament which kicks off from the 5th to 24th August in Canada.

He also stressed the need for corporate Ghana to partner the government to adequately resource the Princesses following their third consecutive tournament qualification. They will join Nigeria as Africa's two representatives in North America.

Source:Ghana Sports International