Ghana gunning for Under-20 title
African youngsters aim to break South American stranglehold on title.
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2009 11:17 GMT

Ghana are hoping to break the South American dominance [AFP]
Ghana have their sights firmly set on becoming the first African team to win the Under-20 World Cup -  bringing an end to South America's dominance -  when they meet Brazil in the final on Friday.

Ghana's track record is not favourable – they lost in the final to Brazil in 1993 and Argentina in 2001, and Brazil are chasing a tournament title for the fifth time, chasing Argentina's record of six titles.

With Ghana's senior team qualifying easily for next year's World Cup - the first African team through after hosts South Africa - the Black Satellites have made their own strong impression in Egypt.

"It will be wonderful for us to leave with the cup on Friday, so that we push the senior national team to South Africa with a lot of promise,'' Ghana coach Sellas Tetteh said.

"One or two players may make it to the senior team. This performance surely will have a great impact with the senior team.''

Rock solid

But Ghana must first find a way past a Brazil team that has a rock solid defence and shares the goals around, while Ghana's defence is weak by comparison and the team relies heavily on their two strikers, Dominic Adiyiah and Ransford Osei.

The pressure is more on Brazil, however. Not only are the Brazilians expected to win, but their fans will demand the style and flair clearly lacking during Tuesday's lacklustre 1-0 win over Costa Rica. Ghana defeated Hungary 3-2 in a far more entertaining match.

"Of course there is pressure to win,'' Brazil coach Rogerio Lourenco said.

"Anyone who coaches in Brazil knows this.''

Brazil's coach hopes that "facing another attacking team, like Brazil, means that the football will be better to watch'' considering the two teams have scored 30 goals between them.

Brazil last won the tournament in 2003, and victory will make it five straight tournament wins for South American teams, guaranteeing a decade of total success with Argentina taking the last two titles and three of the last four.

Spain is the only team from outside South America to win since 1993, clinching the title in '99.

At least Ghana will guarantee a celebration if they score [AFP]
Going for broke

Ghana captain Andre Ayew, who is struggling for fitness after twisting his ankle against Hungary, denied that reaching the final is an achievement in itself.

"We want this cup and we'll give everything to get it,'' Ayew said.

"They're proud of us because we are representing the country and we are lifting the flag high. But if we don't win the cup I don't think we'll be satisfied.''

Brazil have conceded only three goals and have a far more reliable goalkeeper in Rafael, while Ghana have conceded eight goals - four in their last two games.

However, Adiyiah and Osei help compensate for some erratic defending, and they have scored 12 of the team's 16 goals. Adiyiah has a tournament-leading eight goals, while Osei has four.

"They are just clinical,'' Tetteh said of his strikers.

Before the final Hungary and Costa Rica will fight it out for third place.

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