Ghana’s national female soccer side the Black Queens will renew their age-old rivalry with their bitterest rivals, the Falcons of Nigeria this afternoon, when both sides clash in a Group B game at the on-going CAF Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) at the Stade de Limbe in Cameroun.
Both sides would be chasing the top spot in this afternoon’s encounter, which has Nigeria ahead of Ghana by virtue of goals.
The Black Queens who posted a 3-1 win over tournament newbie’s Kenya 3-1 on Sunday in their group opener are making their 11th appearance at the championships and having been to the finals on more than five occasions without winning the Holy Grail, a phenomenon coach of the side Yussif Basigi believes his side would not repeat itself this year.
The coach who is optimistic the trophy drought will end this year, knows his word would come under some strong scrutiny this afternoon as former Falcons captain Florence ……..who is now coach of the team leads out her charges to face the Ghanaians.
In the history of the tournament the Black Queens are yet to score a major victory over their opponents and for many a Ghanaian soccer fan if the Queen’s are to grind the result this afternoon against the well determined and motivated Flacon’s then they must dig deep into their reservoir to pluck the chest out of the blazing fire.
The Queens will be relying on the experience of strikers Florence Dadson, Samira Suleman, Portia Boakye and Faiza Ibrahim to bang in the goals this afternoon.
They will also have the solid partnership of Linda Eshun and Janet Egyir at the hearts of defense that will prevent the Falcons from causing any harm.
Since the inception of the competition Ghana have fallen three times to the Nigerian’s in the grand finals of the competition, in 1998 the Nigerian’s defeated Ghana 2 -0 and repeated the same score line in 2002 before brushing aside Ghana again 1-0 in the 2006 finals, but coach Basigi believes history would not play a part in this game as he has psyched his girls for a win today.
Tournament record winners Nigeria who have won the competition 9 times out of 12 appearances made a flying start to the defense of their title they won two years ago in Nambia with a 6-0 thrashing of Mali last Sunday.
Prolific striker Asisat Oshoala who plies her trade with Arsenal Ladies in London will potentially be the tormentor-in-chief for the Falcons in today’s game especially after recording four goals in their opening game. She would be hoping to add to her goal tally and will do anything possible to break through the Ghanaian defense.
By Enoch Ntiamoah