Having twice before appeared at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, Ghana are still looking to escape the group phase for the first time. Ghanaian fans are quick to point out that they have been very unlucky when it came to the draw. Two years ago, they were drawn into a group with Germany, USA and China PR, who between them can look back at 12 semi-final appearances in the six finals. Three defeats later, the Black Princesses were on their way home. At Germany 2010, Ghana were also drawn into a group with USA. The west Africans managed a credible 1-1 draw against the defending champions, but lost against a strong Korea Republic side. They secured their first victory at the U-20 finals in their last group game, beating Switzerland 2-0, but it was not enough to advance to the knockout stage.
Ghana arrive in Canada for the finals short of competitive match practice, having advanced to the final round of the African qualifiers without playing a single game following the withdrawal of Guinea Bissau (first round) and Uganda (second round). They then faced Equatorial Guinea for a place at the finals. They lost the first leg 1-0, but then managed to turn things around at home in Accra, courtesy of Grace Adams' early goal. As neither side managed to find the target again, a penalty shoot-out decided the winner and Bashir Hayford's side prevailed 4-3 to secure their third trip to the finals in succession. They still have an experienced side, as many of their players were involved in the U-17 finals in Azerbaijan two years ago, where Ghana finished third, and in previous U-20 finals.
Coach Hayford said his team was a bit rusty in qualifying but friendly matches, a training camp in Europe, and the finals should keep Ghanaian women's football moving in the right direction. Hayford said that he was also keen to give other players throughout Ghana an opportunity to make the World Cup squad. "We will scout the whole of Ghana to see if there are other girls hiding somewhere to come help the team because every country’s U-20 team is her national team in disguise," he said.