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Black Queens face Guinea today …in first leg Olympic qualifier

The Black Queens, will commence their first Olympic Games qualifiers today in Conakry when they will play as guests of Le Syli National Féminin of Guinea at the Stade General Lansana Conte in Nongo.

For the past four Olympic Games – Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016, and Tokyo 2020 – the Black Queens have laboured to qualify, with their best shot coming ahead of the Beijing games, where they lost the automatic qualifying slot to the Super Falcons of Nige­ria on superior goal aggregates.

They further lost the inter-conti­nental play-off fixture 5-1 to Brazil at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing, China.

In the 2012 qualifiers, the Black Queens blew apart Guinea 7-1 on aggregate only to lose out via the away goals rule to Ethiopia after losing 1-0 away and winning 2-1 at the Accra Sports Stadium.

During the 2016 qualifiers, Ghana was eliminated in the third round by Cameroon via the away goals rule following a 1-1 away draw and a 2-2 home draw at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The 2020 edition saw the Queens defeat Les Pantheres of Gabon 5-0 on aggregate before losing out in the third round 1-0 to the Harambee Starlets.

The Black Queens would be hoping to be fifth-time lucky with Swiss national, Nora Häuptle, in charge of the team.

Today’s game will be her first official test after overseeing three friendly games in which she re­corded victories against Benin and a double over Senegal.

The last time the two met in a competitive game was in the run-up to the 2012 London Games, where the Le Syli National Féminin suffered a 2-0 home loss before a 5-1 thrashing at the El- Wak Stadium.

The captain of the side, Linda Eshun, says the team is not under pressure and was confident the team would come with a good win.

Guinean Sékouba Camara, in a pre-game press conference yester­day, told the Guinean press that they were prepared for the Black Queens challenge.

In Fatoumata Dédé Diallo, Fatoumata Danda Camara, Mamet Camara, and Saran Sidibé, coach Camara has a midfield and strike force that has what it takes to un­lock any defence on a good day.

 BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY

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