17 Nov

France late strike denies Black Princesses first win

Ghana conceded a cruel last minute goal for the second successive match, drawing 2-2 with France after they looked set for a deserved come-from-behind win at the PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
France lined up with six changes from the side which impressed in the opening scoreless draw against USA. Les Bleuettes struggled for penetration and Ghana enjoyed an equal footing in the early stages, even if goalscoring opportunities were limited.
Star midfielder Delphine Cascarino started quietly only to suddenly open the scoring on the half-hour. Valerie Gauvin was the provider with a fine surge down the right and her pull-back saw the No7 easily slide home with trademark aplomb.
Anna Clerac could have doubled the lead almost immediately, but she skied her snapshot after goalkeeper Victoria Agyei fumbled.
Ghana enjoyed several half-sights of goal and they managed to draw level a minute before the interval as Samira Abdul-Rahman took advantage of a turnover to slide a short pass for Sandra Owusu-Ansah to run on to and convert.
France had the better of possession after the interval, but it was Ghana who should have gone ahead just after the hour as the 16-year-old Owusu-Ansah used her pace down the left to fire across goal, only for Wasila Diwura-Soale to hit the side-netting at the back post.
Yet Ghana took the lead within a matter of minutes with the otherwise faultless Hawa Cissoko caught napping. Jane Ayieyam stuck a foot in past the back-tracking defender to somehow loop the ball over the goalkeeper from 30 yards.
Ghana had the opportunity to seal victory eight minutes from time after substitute Princella Adubea burst through only to be upended by a desperate Pauline Dhaeyer. However Abdul-Rahman’s penalty lacked conviction and was saved by Mylene Chavas diving to her right.
France had been offered a lifeline and they took it with both hands. Cascarino found a yard of space on the right and delivered an inch-perfect cross substitute Clara Mateo to nod home from close range in the final minute of injury time.
France, with two points, will tackle New Zealand in the final match, while Ghana will face USA.
Credit: FIFA
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