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Black Starlets’ dream run at WAFU ends in semi-final heartbreak

The Starlets will have a chance to redeem themselves in the third-place play-off on Tuesday (28 May), where they will face the loser of the other semi-final between Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire

Ghana’s U-17 side, the Black Starlets, were denied a place in the WAFU Zone B U-17 Cup of Nations final after a narrow 2-1 defeat to Burkina Faso at the University of Ghana Stadium on Saturday (25 May).

The Starlets, coached by Laryea Kingston, were aiming to avenge their 2022 semi-final loss to the Young Stallions but fell short despite a spirited showing.

Burkina Faso took an early lead through Asharaf Tapsoba, who capitalised on a defensive error in the 12th minute.

Ghana responded well, drawing level through a thunderous Joseph Narbi strike from the edge of the area 15 minutes later.

However, defensive lapses continued to haunt the Starlets as Tapsoba grabbed his second goal three minutes after the break, putting the visitors back in front.

Ghana pushed for an equaliser in the second half but couldn’t find a way past the Burkina Faso defence.

The defeat means the Black Starlets miss out on automatic qualification for the 2025 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

They will have a chance to redeem themselves in the third-place play-off on Tuesday (28 May), where they will face the loser of the other semi-final between Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

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