Debutantes Netherlands proved a contender to win this year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup following a 4-0 thrashing of perennial qualifiers Ghana on Wednesday.
The result of the Group A game played at Vannes, France sends the Dutch girls into the quarter-final of the tournament.
Ghana’s Black Princesses are all but out of the tournament, pending France’s second group game against New Zealand later on Wednesday.
Though the Princesses began the day’s match the stronger of the two sides – probably owing to their 4-1 opening day loss to the hosts – it was the Dutch who made their few attacks count.
A surging effort to break the African representatives saw goalkeeper Martha Annan direct the ball away from her goal for a corner kick. She went down to be treated in the process.
It was the resultant setpiece that gave the Europeans the all-important boon.
The ball went over the thicket in the box with Annan failing to punch it out. Just on time from the right of attack, Aniek Nouwen nodded into the roof of the net after the ball bounced off the pitch.
Within 11 minutes, two other quick goals have been registered by the Dutch, Fenna Kalma the scorer of both goals.
Nothing seemed to work for the Princesses thereafter as the Dutch girls dictated play especially in the midfield, led by Victoria Pelova.
It appeared the Ghanaians were dancing to the same tune in their first game on Sunday, when they went 0-3 down to France in the first half. Though they pulled one back through Sandra Owusu Ansah after the break in that game, the French won 4-1.
Unfortunately, they could not score on Wednesday as the Dutch rather repeated the French affair by scoring another goal in the second half.
It was through Pelova, who was arguably the Man of the Match.
Coach Yusif Basigi expressed disappointment after the game but assured Ghanaians that the team will come back strong from the two defeats to beat the New Zealanders in their final game on Sunday.