Ghana’s 2022 FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup opener against the United States was a rough outing for the Black Princesses as an early USA goal was followed by Jacqueline Owusu’s straight red card in a 3-0 Group D defeat on Thursday in Costa Rica. Michelle Cooper, Alyssa Thompson and Allyson Sentnor all scored for the USA women while Ghana struggled to generate opportunities with a numerical disadvantage for over sixty minutes. Ghana will look to get their campaign on track when they face Japan on Sunday but it will be tough sailing in a group that also includes The Netherlands.
Heavy favorites USA struggled to string together passes in the opening ten minutes and Ghana showed signs that they may be able to compete but the Americans found their rhythm thanks to a defensive breakdown from the Ghanaian women. In the 11th minute a cross from Laney Rouse picked out Cooper who was wide open to head past Ghana goalkeeper Grace Buoadu from five yards out. The odds became longer for the Black Princesses shortly after the half hour mark when a Video Assistant Review observed Owusu’s stomp on the heel of an American player and she was given a straight red card to put Ghana down to ten women.
Not long after Owusu’s sending off the Americans doubled their advantage in the 38th minute. Cooper found plenty of space on the left wing and sent in a low cross that was turned in from six yards out by Thompson to send the USA on their way to a comfortable victory. The 51st minute saw the favorites score their third through halftime substitute Sentnor, who came on for Cooper and received a pass from Olivia Moultrie before sending her finish through Buoadu.
Highlights from the match are below.