Queens beat South Africa in final brush-up

•Ghana's Elizabeth Addo (10) fends off	a	challenge	from	Bayana’s	Ramolep Lebobang  in yesterday's friendly encounter

• Ghana’s Elizabeth Addo (10) fends off a challenge from Bayana’s Ramolep Lebobang in yesterday’s friendly encounter

The Black Queens of Ghana defeated the Bayana Bayana of South Africa by a lone goal in their final pre-Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) match played yesterday at the refurbished Accra Sports Stadium.

Striker Samira Suleman superbly headed home a well-executed corner-kick in the 22nd minute to give the Queens their first victory ahead of the competition after three attempts.

The Black Queens played two friendly matches: a 3-2 defeat to Zambia and a 1-1 draw with Kenya ahead of the clash with South Africa.

The victory would serve as huge motivation for the team as they look forward to achieving their host-and-win agenda when the Total-sponsored AWCON begins on November 17.

The Queens went into the game in a quest to give Ghanaians a taste of what should be expected of them during the AWCON.

It was an excellent display from Coach Bashiru Hayford and his charges as they took the game by the scruff of the neck and displayed some quality football with brilliant exchanges from defence into the half of their opponents.

The South Africans were equally a good side except that they soaked in the pressure from the Queens and made some few attacks of their own especially in the first half which was a very balanced game for both teams.

The second half, however, saw the Queens dominate the game and tried very hard to double their advantage while the Bayana Bayana remained resolute.

The home team almost had their well deserved second goal but the visitors were saved by the cross bar after a 56th minute free-kick from Elizabeth Addo romanced the post to the relief of the South Africans.

Popularly known as Ama Pele, Addo had a wonderful game as his deft touches and dribbles got fans on their feet very often throughout the game.

The Queens would face Algeria in the opening match of the AWCON at the same venue on Saturday and would be beaming with confidence following yesterday’s game.

It was also a good preparation exercise for the South Africans who appear to be a force to reckon with, when the AWCON gets underway.

 BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE

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