Substitute Ayo Akinola fires U.S. U-17s to group stage win over Ghana

Substitute Ayo Akinola fires U.S. U-17s to group stage win over Ghana

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Substitute Ayo Akinola fires U.S. U-17s to group stage win over Ghana

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After toppling hosts India to open the U-17 World Cup, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team took control of Group A with a win over a familiar World Cup foe.

A late goal from substitute Ayo Akinola sealed a 1-0 win over Ghana on Tuesday in the second match of the U-17 World Cup. With the win, the U.S. moves to six points from two games, giving them a three-point lead atop Group A through two matches.

Akinola’s finish came in the 76th minute, helping the U.S. seal a massive three points. Played in by Chris Goslin, Akinola held off his defender while barreling his way into the box. The TFC product then slid a shot right into the back of the net, sealing a win for the U.S.

The first half started at a methodical past as the U.S. was content to control the ball and slow down play. By and large, they were successful, as the U.S. kept Ghana on their heels and away from the counter attack.

Even with the pace, the U.S. was able to create several good chances. Josh Sargent saw a close-range header saved in the 16th minute on what was likely the best look of the opening half. Blaine Ferri also had a few decent chances, but his two curling efforts went just wide of the post.

The second half started with a Ghana flurry and several chances for the African side. Justin Garces was called upon to make a few early saves while Chris Durkin’s last-gasp block on the line saved a goal in the 47th minute.

With a spot in the knockout round secure, the U.S. looks ahead to Thursday’s group stage finale against Colombia.

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