Unlucky Maidens lose on penalties in U17 Women's World Cup quarter-final
Ghana were denied passage to the semi-final of the 2014 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup after losing 4-3 on penalties to Italy on Thursday.
The Black Maidens were quick to come out of their blocks and scored the opening goal on four minutes.
Naomi Anima intercepted an Italian clearance and sent the ball wide out to Lily Niber Lawrence, who then put in an exceptional cross for Jane Ayieyam to head past Francesca Durante.
But the Italians drew level four minutes later when Gloria Marinelli rose above the crowd inside Ghana’s penalty area to head in Lisa Boattin’s free-kick.
Italy were awarded a controversial penalty in the 17th minute and Manuela Giugliano made no mistake firing past the diving Adams.
They missed a penalty in the second-half, which would have likely put the game out of reach.
However, Ghana continued to press on and Abambila rewarded the Africans’ perseverance with a well-struck free-kick in the 90th minute.
The Maidens had a legitimate goal scored disallowed by the referee before that late equalizer.
During the shoot-out, Ayieyam opened the scoring and Italy stumbled as Boattin’s effort was saved.
Italy caught up in the second round when Ghana missed but Giugliano levelled matters for the Europeans.
Vida Opuku converted Ghana’s penalty and Flaminia Simonetti scored Italy’s third-round kick.
The turning point was when Abambila missed her shot and Annamaria Serturini put the Italians ahead.
Gladys Amfobea scored Ghana’s third penalty but Italy secured passage to the semi-finals when Marta Vergani slotted home to seal the 4-3 win.
Ghana were seeking to go one better than the bronze medal won at the 2012 finals in Azerbaijan.