The third time was the charm for Ghana in the U-20 World Cup

This day in football history


On 16 October 2009, Ghana won the U-20 World Cup, beating Brazil on penalties, 0–0 (4–3). And they did it despite playing most of the match with only 10 men.

It was the third appearance in the U-20 final for the Black Satellites, who finished as runners-up to Brazil in 1993 and to Argentina in 2001. Brazil, meanwhile, had reached six previous finals and won four of them.

In 2009, Ghana were led by striker Dominic Adiyiah, who had scored a tournament best eight goals en route to the final, including an extra-time match winner against South Africa in the round of 16 and braces in Ghana’s 3–2 victories over South Korea and Hungary in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. Brazil had an extra-time victory of their own, needing a pair of late goals from winger Maicon to slip past Germany in the quarterfinals.

The final, played before a crowd of 67,814 at Cairo International Stadium in Egypt, was an ugly affair for the first half, with two Brazilians seeing cautions and Ghana defender Daniel Addo receiving a 37th-minute red card for a challenge on Brazil’s Alex Teixeira. Brazil could not take advantage of the situation, though, and neither team managed to put the ball in the net during the first 120 minutes.

Brazil went first in the penalty shootout and were up 3–2 after four kicks each. But Maicon, who had come on as a 75th-minute substitute, sent his shot high and wide, allowing Adiyiah to pull Ghana level. Ghana keeper Daniel Adjei then guessed correctly on Brazil’s next kick to deny Teixiera. The last shot was taken by Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, who coolly slotted the ball into the lower right corner for the win.