Black Maidens to face Mexico in quarter-finals

Author: fifa.com
Captain fantastic: Mukarama Abdulai scored a brace to secure victory for Ghana

Ghana will play Mexico in the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Uruguay after finishing as Group A winners with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in their final group match on Tuesday, thanks to a brace from captain Mukarama Abdulai.

The match was all about placement, with both having confirmed their quarter-final qualification last matchday out. The first half was played rather evenly, with Amelia Abbott producing the game's first significant chance when she attempted a half-volley which flew over the crossbar.

Grace Animah forced Anna Leat into making an excellent save midway through the half. The Kiwis' goalkeeper did well to tip her shot over the crossbar while she ran backwards towards her goal.

Ghana captain and current Golden Boot leader Mukarama opened the scoring in the 61st minute when she ran on to a long ball lofted over the New Zealand backline before controlling the ball after the bounce and directing her shot past Leat into the bottom corner of the net.

Mukarama doubled Ghana's lead shortly before the full-time whistle, with a driven shot into the near top corner past Leat, to bring her tournament tally to six goals in three matches.

Ghana will face Mexico in the quarter-finals on Sunday in Montevideo. The Black Maidens have qualified for the last eight for the fourth consecutive time at a U-17 Women's World Cup. Their best performance in tournament history came in 2012 when they finished in third place.

As Group A runners-up, New Zealand will take on Japan in Colonia Del Sacramento on Saturday. The Kiwis will be competing in the knockout stage of a U-17 Women's World Cup for the first time this weekend.

Player of the Match: Grace Animah (Ghana)