Today In Sports History: Ghana Beat Brazil With 10-Men To Win FIFA U-20 World Cup

On this day, October 16, 2009, exactly 12 years ago today, Ten-man Ghana won the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt by defeating Brazil in a sudden death penalty shoot-out after the two teams failed to break the deadlock in 120 minutes of football.

The African and South American champions, who had not lost a game during the competition, keep that proud record intact, but at the end of the day, it was the Black Satellites, who followed in the footsteps of Argentina, victors at Canada 2007, in lifting the famous trophy. Brazil had the best of the early stages and went agonisingly close to taking the lead early on when Giuliano’s free-kick was put into the box and Alex Teixeira was inches away from connecting with a header. Giuliano prompted A Seleção once again, playing the ball to Paulo Henrique on the left, who crossed for Alan Kardec, but his volley was wide.

Douglas stung the hands of the goalkeeper with a shot from distance, but the major talking point of the first half came in the 37th minute when David Addo was given a straight red card for a foul on Alex Teixeira, after the latter was breaking quickly on the counter-attack. While the Belgian believed Addo to be the last man, the Africans protested that both Jonathan Mensah and David Addy had tracked back to cover.

Ghana, who boasted the tournament’s most prolific strikeforce in Dominic Adiyiah and Ransford Osei failed to muster a single shot on goal in a stop-start opening 45 minutes, punctuated by no fewer than 17 free-kicks, yet this was not the bruising encounter those statistics may suggest.

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Ghana Beat Brazil With 10-Men To Win FIFA U-20 World Cup
Ghana Beat Brazil With 10-Men To Win FIFA U-20 World Cup


Abeiku Quansah saw a goal-bound shot saved just four seconds after half-time, however this was a routine save for Rafael as Brazil played the majority pressuring. Alex Teixeira should have done better, but shot over the crossbar from Diogo’s center and Alan Kardec had a golden chance to score, but he shot straight towards Daniel Agyei from Souza’s cross.

At the midway point of the second period was nearing, Ghana had more possession however, Brazil seemed to be more risky. Rafael Toloi slipped a perfectly-weighted pass to Alan Kardec to latch on to, but he smashed in a flurry into the side net. The No9 was guilty of squandering an opportunity just a second later, when he placed a free header off Douglas Costa’s cross on the crossbar.

The crowd was certain about whom the 67,814 fans in this stadium was cheering for and there was a massive roar from home fans every time their fellow Africans reached the halfway point and the volume of the roar grew even more when Emmanuel Agyemang Badu’s shot was deflected, forcing Rafael to pull off a perfect low stop towards his right.

As the time went on The Black Satellites seemed to increasingly become comfortable playing with ten players and their attacks were becoming more frequent and at the back they were able to defend with great spirit. They were allowed to play the game to extra time, however there was some drama to come in the final phases of 90, in the event that Andre Ayew and Rafael Toloi were at war over the ball, the latter of whom required severe treatment.

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With Rogerio making three substitutions, There was a very good chance that Brazil could have been forced to play with only ten players. However, despite having an obvious stumble, the defense performed bravely to preserve the advantage in numbers for his team.

The South Americans had a glorious opportunity to take the treatment just six minutes into extra time however, Agyei made a spectacular save to stop Maicon who was left with his hands in his mouth in stupor for an entire minute following. Agyei was a bit frustrated Wellington Junior in the second phase of extra time by making a well-timed move at his near post. However, after some players had played for eleven or a half hour in this contest, The speed of play slowed, and the game was pushed to a penalty shootout.

The fireworks started. Then, Alan Kardec and Ayew and Giuliano and Inkoom were able to exchange penalties that worked However, Brazil gained the lead after watching Douglas Costa score and Jonathan Mensah make a mistake. Souza got the penalty for his goal saved, however Bright Addae failed to reduce the deficit when his shot at 12 yards firmly taken by Rafael. The result meant that Maicon with a shot of winning the match for Brazil, however, he took the ball high across the line. Adiyiah was cool enough and took the shoot-out to the air in a sudden death. Then Agyei blocked Alex Teixeira before Agyemang-Badu made the winning a certainty by scoring the crucial spot-kick.

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Sellas Tetteh, Ghana coach

We are worthy winners of this tournament. When Daniel Addo was sent off I wasn’t alarmed as I went through the same thing two years ago in the U17 World Cup in Korea when Brazil were again the opponents. But we have beaten them today because we adapted our game. I have now become the first coach to lead an African team to this cherished title, and I hope that I will soon be leading the Ghana first team to victory in the African Cup of Nations and then the World Cup.

Rogerio, Brazil coach

I am proud of my team and the performances we have put in during the tournament. The players were excellent, and we controlled the game today, even before the sending off. We wasted a number of chances in the match, but when it came to the penalty shoot-out, we have nothing to be upset about. Lady Luck plays the biggest role in shoot-outs. She deserted us and we lost the cup. We decided to take Douglas off in the first half because Ghana’s left back David Addy was causing us a lot of trouble. My player was on a yellow card, and I was worried he would get sent off.

Ghana Line-Up: Daniel Agyei, Samuel Nkoom, Jonathan Mensah, Daniel Addo, Lee Addy, Abeiku Quansah (Opoku Agyemang), Agyemang Badu, Andre Ayew (C) ,Rabiu Mohammed (Bright Addai), Ransford Osei (Kassenu Ghandy), Dominic Adiyah

Unused Subs: Robert Dabuo, Joseph Addo, Gladys Awako, Latif Salifu, Daniel Opare, Philip Boampong, John Benson Coach: Sellas Tetteh