Canada's Jessie Fleming (left) challenges Edem Atavor of Ghana during their FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup match at the National Soccer Stadium on August 5, 2014, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
TORONTO -- Ghana defeated host Canada 1-0 in the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup on Tuesday, before 14,834 fans at the National Soccer Stadium (BMO Field).
The opening loss leaves the Canadians with work to do in Group A, especially since Korea DPR posted a 2-1 win over Finland earlier in the day, leaving two teams with maximum points after one game.
Sherifatu Sumaila struck for the only goal in the 22nd minute. After some neat work near the top of the 18-yard box, the 17-year-old – a veteran of two FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cups – passed to Edem Atovor on the left. Atovor delivered a low left-footed cross that diving goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan blocked into the path of Sumaila, who pounded it home from five-yards out.
With three minutes left in the first half, Emma Fletcher nearly equalized. Some skillful dribbling allowed the midfielder to elude multiple Ghanaian defenders on the left side of the box. Taking advantage of the space, she then fired a right-footed shot from 14-yards out that slammed off the left post.
Second-half substitute Nichelle Prince had Canada’s last opportunity with 20 minutes remaining in normal time, but her effort from 13 yards was saved by goalkeeper Victoria Agyei.
Canada will look to bounce back on Friday against Finland at the same venue.