Defensive woes were Portugal’s undoing as Edgar Borges’ Under-20 squad fell to Ghana in the round of 16 on two late goals.

Borges’ squad began the match positively in the opening minutes when Bruma set up Aladje for an excellent chance, only to see the striker miss the open net. But Ghana proved to be a stubborn opponent until the end.

In the 19th minute, Ghana’s Kennedy Ashia fired an excellent shot from 30 yards away into the top corner of the net. Ghana went into half-time with the upper hand.

But Portugal did not quit. The Portuguese tested the Ghanaian backline on several occasions in the early stages of the second half. In the 71st minute, Portugal finally broke through when defender Tiago Ferreira fired in a loose ball in the box to even the score.

Moments later, Edgar Ié heads in a brilliant cross from Ricardo Esgaio, giving Portugal the lead. It would be short lived.

In the 79th minute, Sporting’s Tiago Ilori fails to clear a dangerous ball in front of goalkeeper José Sá. Michael Anaba scores to even the score with ten minutes left to play.

In the 85th minute, Richmond Boakye scored off a free-kick deep in the Portuguese zone to give Ghana the victory.

Manager Edgar Borges said after the match that Portugal did enough to win against Ghana and were unlucky to be eliminated. “We felt like the game was on our side and that we deserved to win.”

“Portugal began the match very well, we had two or three good opportunities from the start. Their goalkeeper played very well and deserves credit,” Borges added.

“We dreamed and we fulfilled our obligation by passing the group stage, but we never promised a title because in these elimination matches anything could happen. Therefore, I have to assume the entire responsibility for this result.”

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