VANNES, FRANCE – AUGUST 05: Marie-Antoinette Katoto (C) of France is challenged by Ernestina Abambila of Ghana during the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 group A match between France and Ghana at Stade de la Rabine on August 5, 2018 in Vannes, Fra
Ghana were handed a raw deal in their opening game of 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup as host nation France mauled them 4-1 in Vannes on Sunday.
Les Bleuettes needed just five minutes to get on the scoresheet. Emelyne Laurent ran on to the end of a brilliant cross from Selma Bacha and fired in a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and post before bouncing over the goal line.
France continued to dominate and were rewarded for their progressive play when captain Marie-Antoinette Katoto pulled back an inviting cross for Helene Fercocq to calmly guide a shot with the inside of her foot into the far corner to double their lead.
Laurent added a second on the evening in the 31st minute, with a lobbed effort that also kissed the crossbar before making it 3-0 for the hosts.
The Black Princesses are without key player Princella Adubea, who is absent from France 2018 due to injury, and struggled to create many goalscoring opportunities. However, they did eventually get on the scoresheet in the second half when Grace Asantewaa played in Sandra Owusu-Ansah, who then rounded goalkeeper Mylene Chavas before finishing her chance to bring the Black Princesses to within two goals of the tournament hosts.
However, France substitute Sandy Baltimore put the icing on the cake in the very last minute of second-half stoppage time when she tapped in from close range after Katoto’s free-kick was initially saved by Ghana goalkeeper Martha Annan.
Ghana must win their next game against New Zealand, who were beaten 2-1 by the Netherlands, to stand a chance of progressing from the group.