Ghana raised their hopes of reaching the final round of the qualifiers for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2022, with a 2-1 win over Uganda in Kitende on Saturday, 22 January 2022.
Both teams went into the contest on the back of an impressive third round displays in December 2021, with the West Africans edging Zambia 1-0 on aggregate, while the East Africans subdued South Africa by the same scoreline to advance.
The visiting team made a bright start to the contest as Salamatu Abdulai gave the Ghanaians the first half lead after just 20 minutes of action at St Mary’s Stadium.
On return from recess, Ghana built on their slim first half advantage, doubling their lead three minutes after the restart courtesy of Grace Anima's strike.
With a 2-0 down, Ugandans staged a fight back but could not find the net until Najjemba eventually reduced the deficit with a late consolation four minutes from the full-time whistle.
Despite a first leg defeat, Uganda will seek to keep alive their maiden World Cup qualification dream when they visit Cape Coast for the second leg of the fourth round in a fortnight.
Ayub Khalifah (Uganda coach):
It was very unfortunate that we lost at home. We didn't expect this as a team. The goals we conceded were out of funny mistakes which I think we can put right. We had opportunities but we failed to use our chances. If we had got those goals, we will have been the better side.
Ben Fokuo (Ghana coach):
We corrected the lapses that we saw in the Zambia game and they did exactly what we told them. We've not qualified yet, we need to review our performance here and make sure we get things right when we get back home ahead of the second leg to ensure we qualify.