2018 FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup: Mexico crush Ghana’s hopes with historic win in quarterfinals
Quarter-final: Mexico 2 (4) - 2 (2) Ghana (MEX: Nicole Pérez 61' (Pen), 82'; GHA: Mukarama Abdulai 46', Suzzy Teye 75')
Mexico created history by entering their first-ever FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup semi-final after defeating Ghana on penalties at the Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The Black Maidens succumbed to their third straight quarter-final defeat after their best position of a third-place finish during the 2012 Azerbaijan World Cup.
Mexico showed they were not there to make up the numbers, registering their first attempt at the goal when Tanna Carreto‘s volley went inches wide of the near post following a corner.
Later, Mukarama Abdulai stepped up to send a ball flying over the crossbar after some sustained pressure from the Mexican defenders kept the top goal scorer of the tournament at bay.
In the second half, Mavis Owusu sent in a spectacular cross from the right flank, finding Mukarama Abdulai, who skillfully headed it in off the back post to put Ghana ahead. Abdulai set a new Ghanaian record, scoring seven goals in U-17 World Cup, surpassing Jane Ayieyam who scored six.
El Tri scored the equalizer after Elizabeth Oppong tripped Nayeli Diaz in the box as the Chilean referee promptly awarded a spot-kick. Nicole Pérez stepped up to thrash it into the top left corner.
Mukarama Abdulai found Suzzy Teye in space and directed a great diagonal ball. Suzzy Teye, with a precise first touch, snared the ball away from Ximena Rios and launched it past the splaying Mexican goalkeeper Jaidy Gutiérrez to put Ghana ahead.
The Mexican captain Nicole Pérez sent in a screamer from 30 yards out, which squeezed in underneath the bar after the Ghanaian shot-stopper Grace Boadu mistimed her jump. Ghana substituted their goalkeeper with Cynthia Konlan assuming the goaltending duties.
Justice Tweneboaa‘s spot-kick got brilliantly saved with the trailing leg of Jaidy Gutiérrez, followed by another spectacular save to the right to deny Elizabeth Oppong.
Julieta Peralta propelled the ball low towards the left corner to leave the Ghanaian goalkeeper Cynthia Konlan stranded, sparking off wild celebrations as Mexico advanced to their first semi-finals.
The Mexican back-line of Nicole Soto, Tanna Carreto, Ximena Rios, and Fatima Arellano performed a splendid job to keep Mukarama Abdulai quiet throughout the course of the game.
Ghana managed six of their 20 attempts on target, while Mexico struck three of their nine efforts on the mark. Mexico commanded 56% of the ball possession. Ghana committed 20 fouls and got cautioned thrice by the Chilean referee Maria Carvajal, and Mexico received two cautions with 13 fouls. Nicole Perez won the 'Player of the Match' award.