The Black Starlets started the 2017 U-17 World Cup on a high by beating Colombia by 1-0.
Here are five projections we can make out of the game at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi , India .
The Starlets play with pace
The Ghana Black Starlets are a side which have continued from where they left in the 2017 African Cup of Nations performance in Gabon. The team made the finals and this side had no problem at all with transition.
The Starlets in the early exchanges of the opening game with Colombia played with so much speed and intensity which had its good and bad sides along the course of the game. The positive was the fact that Ghana had no problem with transition. This meant starting a move from defense to attack was no problem.
The counter productivity was in the Black Starlets after a glittering first half were quite lethargic in the next period. The 2nd half had a lot of energy sapped out of the starlets and that allowed the Colombians to dictate the pace with their slow build up.
The Black Starlets defence needs to be checked
Centre back Gideon Mensah found himself at the mercy of Leandro Campaz as the former kept being outrun in the first half. Najeeb Yakubu as well had some tentative moments when his decision making was a problem around the 70th minute.
With 10 minutes to go, the performance of the Ghana Black Starlets was not very impressive. In subsequent games, Ghana should work on having a grounded defence as the USA attack could be quite lethal and devastating when we come against them.
Ghana has a potent attack
Interesting display from Aminu Mohammed, Eric Ayiah and Sadiq Ibrahim made culminated to Black Stars getting the maximum three points at the end of the day. Emmanuel Toku was also remarkable with his control of proceedings in the middle of the park. A number of chances were created and the sequence which led to goal being scored in the 38th minute was indeed something to be admired.
The Starlets will need to convert their chances.
The Ghana Black Starlets were able to create a number of chances but were unable to finish. Two glaring opportunities came the way of Ayiah in the first and second half but both chances were seen of target. Inability to convert chances were the bane of the Black Starlets in the U-17 African Cup of Nations and going forward the Starlets will need to work and pay attention to that.
More challenging test ahead for the Black Starlets
The group stage should not be a tough hurdle for the Ghana Black Starlets but Ghana will need to improve their entire performances going forward. There were great glimpses of quality from the Ghana Black Starlets but there were also times the twinkle little Starlets switched off when the game was ensuing. Colombia finished 4th in the COMNEBOL under 17 tournament and from face value are the weakest contingent from South America coming into the tournament.
Ghana should brace themselves to face tougher and more lethal oppositions because amidst the lukewarm defensive output from the Ghana Black Stars, Colombia fluffed their lines on a number of occasions. Ghana certainly would not be left of the hook in the other group games and more importantly the knockout phases.