Black Princesses ready for Benin test

The national U-20 female football team, the Black Princesses will open their campaign in the inaugural West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Zone B Nations championship with a dicey clash against Benin at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium, today at 3pm.

The Ghanaians have indicated a desire to make a huge impact in the competition and have vowed to clear every obstacle on their way as they aim to scribble their names in the history books of the competi­tion as first winners.

Seven countries, including the host nation Ghana, would be in attendance as the Black Princesses plot qualification to the next stage of the tourney against Benin and Cote d’Ivoire from Group A while continental powerhouse, Nigeria look favourites to progress from Group B that also had Niger, Burkina Faso.

Having spent over a month in camp at the Ghanaman Soccer Center of Excellence, the team gave a five-star performance in their final brush-up game, thump­ing their Nigerien counterparts 11-0 on Tuesday at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The performance against the Nigerien gave an indication of the Black Princesses readiness for the fiesta but would face reality when they march onto the lush Baba Yara Stadium turf to face and very confident Beninois side that have also come to Ghana to stake a claim for female football in their country.

Characteristically, opening matches of such competitions draws some amount pressure on the hosts who tries to kick-start their campaigns on winning notes.

That would surely be the case for the Black Princesses, espe­cially when the Niger humiliation appears to have boosted fans confi­dence in the team.

But this will surely be what the Beninois would hope to capitalise on to stun the Ghanaians to also send signals out there that they were ready for such big occasions.

Interestingly, both sides under­stand the opposition Cote d’Ivo­ire, the third force in the group, offers for which reason the Black Princesses and the Beninois would hope to start on a winning note.

The Black Princesses will take on Cote d’Ivoire on May 27 for a place in the semi but that would be dependent on the outcome of today’s match. It would be quite tricky in the group.

Tomorrow, Nigeria will take on Niger at 3pm in a game the Eaglets would run riot unless the Nigeriens would bring out something from under their sleeves to stop them.

Later, Burkina Faso will open their campaign with a clash against Togo at 6pm.

The second round of matches are expected to be honoured on Tuesday, May 23, with Benin play­ing Cote d’Ivoire at 6pm. Niger will face Burkina Faso the next day at 3pm while Togo battle Nigeria on the same day at 6pm.

Togo will engage Niger in the final round of matches on May 28 at 4pm while Nigeria lock horns with Burkina Faso simultane


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