Princesses For Canada

PrincessesGhana’s female U-20 side, Black Princesses, yesterday defeated the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea 4-3 on penalties to qualify for this year’s World Cup to be staged in Canada, August.

The Princesses laboured to beat the E. Guineans 1-0 to be on level pegging with their opponents  – having lost by a the same margin a fortnight ago in Malabo.

After captain Beatrice Sesu missed Ghana’s opening kick and substitute Victoria Nguema Oyana and captain Olive Christelle Nzee squandered their kicks for the visitors, the mantle of honour fell on Fatima Alhassan who after psyching herself up, shot into the roof of the net to send the stadium agog with celebration.

It was a double blow for the Guineans whose U-17 team was flushed out by their Ghanaian counterparts in the Women U-17 World Cup to be staged in Costa Rica in March.

The E. Guineans may have stormed the Accra Sports Stadium bristling with vengeance but at the end of it all they filed away totally deflated. Doubtless, it will be a long, tortuous journey back home for the E. Guineans whose women’s football seems to be mushrooming until the last two defeats by Ghana.

The Ghanaian started the game on a fiery note attacking the vital area of the visitors after the blast of the whistle and with three minutes on the clock, Wasila Diwura-Soale headed home the opener – and the lone goal of the game after a delightful cross from the foot of Alberta Asante beat goalkeeper Lucia Mbengono in post for the opponents.

From then on, it was all attacking for the diminutive-looking Ghanaian side and all defending for the E. Guineans whose athletic nature cost the Black Princesses a lot throughout the game.

They bullied the Ghanaians with their size, hacking them down on the turf anytime they tried to string a series of passes round them. It was no wonder that they conceded several yellow cards on the day.

Although the Ghanaians threatened the goal area of their opponents, they were very lethargic in front of goal – shooting feebly and wide off target much to the disbelief of the sparse home fans including the Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah.

Half way through the game, play was held up for close to 10 minutes as the E. Guinean coach Juan Micha, beckoned his players to leave the pitch after they were said to have been refused to film the game.  However, after a few minutes of consultations with the referees and the technical team, the game resumed in earnest.

The tempo of the game dropped to its lowest ebb in the second stanza as both sides advertised staid tiredness as players fell on the pitch at the slightest challenge.

Coach Bashiru Hayford brought on Veronica Appiah, Edem Atovor and Fatima Alhassan for Alberta Asante, Alice Kusi and Grace Adams and it seemed their injection added bite to the play of the Ghanaians but they could not turn the numerous chances that came their way into goals.

The Black Princesses will now join their West African neighbours – Falconets of Nigeria as Africa’s torch-bears at the championship in Canada which is will be staged from August 5-24.

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