PORTLAND, Ore. - Alberta Sackey scored a pair of goals to
lead Ghana to its first-ever victory in Women's World Cup
competition, a 2-1 win over Australia on Sunday night.
Ghana's victory in its final Group D match advanced China into
the quarterfinals. China needed a win in the late game against
Russia _ or an Australia loss _ to advance.
Ghana (1-2) went on the attack early. Mavis Dgajmah challenged
Melissa Barbieri with shot that went off the Australia goalkeeper's
fingertips and over the crossbar.
Adjoa Bayor's shot a minute later also hit the crossbar before
sailing into the stands.
Barbieri made a pair of dramatic saves, first tipping Sackey's
hard kick from out in front just over the goal, then fending off
Sackey's header off a corner kick.
But Barbieri wasn't able to stop Sackey's next shot, which
bounced off Australia captain Cheryl Salisbury and over the leaping
goalkeeper's outstretched arms in the 33rd minute.
It was Ghana's first goal of the competition, and second overall
World Cup goal. Nana Gyamfua scored in a 1-1 tie with Australia in
Sackey then took advantage when Barbieri fell trying to defend
her shot in the 39th minute. Australia defender Dianne Alagich
tried to make the save but the rebound went right back to Sackey,
Australia narrowed it in the 66th minute when Heather Garriock
took a pass from Kelly Golebiowski and beat Ghana goalkeeper
Australia finished 0-2-1 and remains winless in World Cup play,
going 0-7-2 in three appearances.
Ghana is now 1-4-1 in two appearances.
The game was played before an announced crowd of 22,000 at PGE
Park, home of the Triple-A Portland Beavers baseball team, and the
soccer's A-League Portland Timbers.