Ghana saw off the efforts of Iraq to finish third at FIFA U-20 World Cup, winning 3-0 in what was ultimately a comfortable victory for the African side.
Ebenezer Assifuah moved a step closer to claiming the adidas Golden Boot with his sixth goal of Turkey 2013, with his goal sandwiched in between Joseph Attamah’s opener and Frank Acheampong’s second-half strike.
Having missed the chance to play in the evening’s final in heart-breaking style – losing on penalties to Uruguay – Iraq began the game brightly. Third would eclipse their fourth-place finish at the 2004 Olympics and they could have been a step closer to it on two occasions inside the first minute.
Firstly, Ammar Abdulhussein drew a save from Richard Ofori after charging down the left wing and firing across goal, before Mohaned Abdulraheem broke down the same flank and cut back to Jawad Kadhim who shot narrowly wide.
Iraq dominated proceedings from then on, though troubling Ofori comparabily little, until the game burst into life on the half hour mark. Assifuah had his first effort of the night, firing just wide from the corner of the box before, at the other end, skill from Kadhim led to Mahdi Kamil’s cross causing havoc in the area. Lawrence Lartey eventually got Abdulhussein’s shot clear.
Then came the opener, as Ghana took the lead against the run of play. Moses Odjer swung in a corner from the left and Joseph Attamah rose ahead of all others to head beyond Mohammed Hameed. It was two with almost the last kick of the half when the ball broke kindly to Assifuah, beat the back-line with a sublime turn of pace and drilled sublimely into the far corner.
Iraq went close straight after the break, with Ali Faez’s free-kick from 25-yards being beaten away by Ofori. Ali Adnan, Iraq’s star of their semi-final, also began to push forward, showing quick feet in the area, before having a shot blocked by Richmond Nketiah soon after.
Abdulhussein spurned a great chance to halve the deficit, skewing his shot wide from inside the box. Hameed then almost gifted Ghana a golden chance to put the game to bed, careering out of his area to beat Assifuah to the ball, only to miscontrol and have to fight it off Aboagye.
The was up for Iraq eight minutes later though. After a great clearance by Dhurgham Ismael denied Frank Acheampong providing one moments earlier, the Anderlecht-bound forward got himself on the scoresheet. A sublime through-ball by Aboagye split the defence, with Acheampong on hand to side-foot over Hameed.