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|October 16, 2009 - 11:45pm(GMT+6:00)||FIFA U-20 World Cup||Live|
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Ghana v Brazil Fifa U-20 World Cup final Match Preview
Both countries are champions over their respective continents and they’ll be fighting for the ultimate honor, which is the prestigious U-20 World Cup trophy.
Who succeeds Argentina as the champions of this competition?
A recap of Ghana’s road to the final of the U-20 World Cup
Ghana qualified for the Under 20 World Cup as champions of Africa. The Black Satellites were paired alongside Uzbekistan, England, and Uruguay in Group D.
In the opening game of the tournament against Uzbekistan, Ghana fought their way through to claim all three points despite going a goal down in the second half.
Many predicted a close contest ahead of Ghana’s encounter against the U-20 European beaten finalists England.
However, Selas Tetteh’s young boys stood up for the challenge and completely humiliated the English with a 4-0 score line.
This marvelous result assured the Black Satellites’ qualification into the last sixteen with the final game of the group stage yet to be played.
Consequently, Ghana’s coach Selas Tetteh profited of the match against Uruguay as an opportunity to test his side’s weaknesses and strengths.
In that clash, the Black Satellites’ weak points were quickly exposed: defense and concentration appeared to be fragile as the Ghanaians let a 2-0 lead slip away for a 2-2 draw in the end.
In the last sixteen, Ghana faced South Africa and they were keen to teach them another lesson as they did in the semifinals of the U-20 African Cup of nations.
After 120 minutes of action, the Black Satellites were the happy side thanks to Captain Ayew Pele’s equalizer in normal time and Dominic Adiyah’s screamer in extra-time.
The African champions kept seeking for success in the competition and the surprise package of the tournament, South Korea, could not prevent them from reaching the semis.
It was Hungary’s turn to try and defeat the Black Satellites. Yet again, the Hungarians fell against a 3-2 score line, just like the Koreans did against the Ghanaians in the quarterfinals.
Subsequently, Selas Tetteh succeeded in his bid to send Ghana in the final of this event for the third time in their history.
A recap of Brazil’s road to the final of the U-20 World Cup
The champions of South America entered this edition of the Fifa U-20 World Cup as favorites, especially after the current titleholders Argentina failed to qualify for the tournament.
Brazil were paired in Group E with Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, and Australia. In their opening game of the competition, Brazil dazzled on the field as they defeated Costa Rica 5-0.
Their second match against the Czechs surprisingly produced no goals but the Brazilians still managed to avoid defeat by keeping a clean sheet. Finally in the third round, a Brazilian side lacking of its key players overpowered struggling Australia by three goals to one.
Like Ghana, Brazil qualified into the last sixteen as winners of their group. They met Uruguay in an all-South American affair in the last sixteen and came out victorious thanks to Alex Teixeira and keeper Rafael’s heroics.
It was a different affair though against Germany. It proved to be their most difficult game of the competition. The Brazilians were pushed all the way down to the wire but strength and luck saw them triumph over the Germans in extra-time.
That match certainly weakened the players of the Brazilian squad; against Costa Rica, the South American champions lacked of fluency and sharpness. Still, they narrowly overcame Costa Rica’s trap thanks to striker Alan Kardec’s winner just minutes after the hour mark.
A clean sheet and a goal at the other end of the field carried the four-time Under-20 World Cup winners to their seventh final in their entire history.
The significant history between Ghana and Brazil
Friday’s final in Egypt will be a repeat of the 1993 Fifa U-20 final in Australia, Sydney. Sixteen years ago, Ghana reached its first ever Fifa U-20 World Cup final in its first attempt and they almost completed their road on a wonderful note.
However, despite scoring first, the Black Satellites succumbed to the Brazilians’ determined spirit. Consequently, the trophy went in the hands of the South Americans and Ghana, who were the first African country to reach the Fifa U-20 World Cup final, were left with silver medals.
Whereas Selas Tetteh would look to overturn the tables with a victory on Friday, the Brazilians will aim to clinch their fifth cup and close in on Argentina’s record of six Fifa U-20 World Cup titles.
The contrast between Ghana and Brazil’s history in the Fifa U-20 tournament is enormous. The Black Satellites are only playing in their fifth World Cup tournament. They finished as runners-up on two occasions and are yet to put their hands on the cup.
Meanwhile, Brazil will be playing in their seventh Fifa U-20 final. The Selecao failed to win the trophy in 1991 and 1995. The last time that they emerged as winners was in 2003. After six years of interval, the country will hope that the time has come for the national team to shine again on the big stage.
A thrilling reunion between Ghana and Brazil
During the 2007 U-17 World Cup in South Korea, Ghana and Brazil met in the quarter-finals with the Black Satellites winning 1-0 at the end of proceedings.
Isaac Donkor’s shot on 52 minutes crossed the line but the ball didn’t even touch the ground or the back of the net.
All the same, it was clear that the Ghanaian player had scored the only goal of the game and this came much at the disgust of the Brazilian goalkeeper who should have done better.
That match was a complete failure for the South Americans who were hoping to win the tournament. The whole squad flew back to their country with tears and sorrows.
A bunch of players who featured in that encounter two years ago will again be present on Friday. It promises to be a thrilling reunion.
For Ghana, Real Madrid defender Daniel Opare and forwards Abeiku Quansah and Ransford Osei should give bad memories to the Brazilians.
Meanwhile, second choice goalkeeper Renan and captain Giuliano are the only players that suffered Brazil’s disappointing 1-0 defeat to Ghana two years back.
Like in 2007, Renan might be on the bench again throughout the game. However, Brazil’s number 10 playmaker Giuliano will try and despise his opposite number, skipper Andre Dede Ayew Pele, and ultimately lift the Fifa U-20 World Cup trophy.
The battle between Ghana’s Dominic Adiyah and Brazil’s Alan Kardec
Out of the 16 goals that Ghana have scored throughout the competition so far, half have gone to striker Dominic Adiyah.
The front man has surprised everyone in this tournament with his blatant performance in front of goal especially.
Dominic Adiyah, who is poised to win the U-20 World Cup Golden Boot, is certainly the man of the moment.
However, he might face a tough battle against Brazil’s number 9, Alan Kardec. The South American striker may not be able to put his hands on the Golden Boot trophy but he will be keen to trouble Ghana’s shaky defense.
Kardec was magnificent against Costa Rica in Brazil’s opening game of the tournament. He was also the match hero against the same team in the semifinals.
More of the same will be expected from him when his country meets Ghana in the final on Friday.
Expectations, players to watch, and general view
The public will hope that the game doesn’t turn out to be a “wrestling show”. Ghana have picked up a hosts of yellow cards and a few red cards as well throughout this tournament.
They’ll have to be very careful against the Brazilians if each player wants to survive until the very last second of the match.
Meanwhile, the Brazilians would also have to take a new approach when it comes to defending; some of their players received many warnings by the referee and a few yellow cards in the semifinals due to unnecessary tackles on the Costa Ricans.
In addition, The Selection’s way of dribbling the ball past the attackers at the back looked inconvenient against Costa Rica.
The game would have surely gone against the Brazilians if the Costa Ricans had made the most of their chances in front every time they caught Brazil’s defense to break away. Well, these points should be enough to urge their coach to work out new tactics against the strong Black Satellites.
Like always, fans will expect Dominic Adiyah and Osei to create fireworks upfront. In the heart of the midfield, the player to watch will be Ghana’s captain, Andre Dede Ayew Pele.
The son of the legendary Abedi Pele has responded to criticism time and times again with important goals in this competition and with a captivating display. What his coach, Selas Tetteh, might have against him will surely be his finishes.
However, if Andre Dede Ayew Pele manages to do what he did against England when he dribbled past three defenders before lashing the ball into the top corner of the net from 25 yards out, then he will surely be a threat to the Brazilians.
For Brazil, Alex Teixeira and the goalkeeper Rafael will definitely have to leave up to expectations one more time. The pair has been terrific throughout the tournament and they could be on the winning side again on Friday.
In defense, Diogo is the man on which everyone will rely to take care of Ghana’s attacking forces. The defender’s performance is arguably far ahead of his teammate Dalton who has been sloppy at times.
In fact there should be a way out for each of these two teams to triumph over the other. The key to victory will be based on concentration, endurance, and tactical dominance.
It will be up to each of the coaches to guide their young team on the right path. One thing is sure: the country that clinches victory will give birth to one or more rising stars.