The Young Football Ferns’ first loss at the Women’s Under-17 Women's World Cup was not without controversy, with the referee missing a possible handball before Ghana’s opening goal.
After some early heroics from NZ goalkeeper Anna Leat, Mukarama Abdulai appeared to use her upper left arm to control the ball before scoring Ghana’s first goal.
The possible handball was missed by the referee and New Zealand manager Leon Birnie.
"I didn't see it so I probably can't comment," he said after the 2-0 defeat.
"But we were tiring against Ghana, who were so athletic, and I think it was probably just a matter of time before they got a goal in. It was going to come at some stage and it came."
The pacey Abdulai extended the lead in the 89th minute, going past Marisa Van Der Meer before finishing with her right foot.
With the 2-0 win, Ghana topped the group and will face Mexico in the final eight while the Young Football Ferns face a quarter-final showdown with Japan on Sunday.