México defeats Ghana to reach Women’s U-17 World Cup semifinals for first time
Nicole Pérez, pictured above, celebrates after scoring against Ghana in the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup at the Estadio Charrua in Montevideo, Uruguay. (Photo courtesy of FIFA)

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay.- For the first time ever, Mexico has advanced to the semifinals of the FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup after defeating Ghana 4-2 in penalty kicks following a 2-2 draw in regular time on Sunday at the Estadio Charrua in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Makurana Abdulai, the Captain of the African team, opened the scoring in the 47th minute with a header for Ghana’s seventh goal in four matches.

Mexico then answered after second half substitute Nayeli Diaz drew a penalty, which was converted by Mexico Captain Nicole Perez on 61 minutes.

Ghana once again took the lead in the 75th minute when substitute Suzzy Teye sent the ball to the back of the net after an assist from Abdulai.

But eight minutes from full-time, Perez pulled Mexico level via free kick to keep Mexico’s hopes alive of winning in a penalty shootout.

Mexico was helped by goalkeeper Jaidy Gutierrez, who saved two penalty kicks from Justice Tweneboaa and Elizabeth Oppong. Meanwhile, Nicole Pérez, Silvana Flores, Natalia Mauleon, Julieta Peralta converted for Mexico to seal the 4-2 triumph.

Mexico will face the winner of the Germany-Canada quarterfinal on Wednesday, November 27 in Montevideo, Uruguay.