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Sports News of Wednesday, 15 November 2000

Source: Panafrican News Agency

Black Queens For Semi Finals

  • All Results & Tables

    TWO excellent strikes from skipper Alberta Sackey and Mavis Djangmah, one in each half, against Cameroun in the crucial second Group B match played at the Makhulong Stadium yesterday kept the dream of the Ghanaians alive in the African Women’s Championship.

    It was a match that the Queens needed to win to be in the semi-finals and they executed the job so well that they ended up being the toast of most fans at the Stadium.

    Even though the Camerounians needed only a draw to secure a place in the next round, they came into this match with the hope of avenging a 2-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Ghanaians at the same level two years ago.

    The Camerounians took charge right from the blast of the referee’s whistle, earning an early corner which was wasted but once the Ghanaians took over, there was no turning back. Beautiful exchanges, excellent man-marking and good ball control made them a delight to watch.

    It, therefore, came as little surprise when skipper Sackey, who looked unusually slow in the game, opened scorings in the sixth minute. She intelligently controlled a cross from Memuna Darku and before her marker could close up on her, she headed it past goalkeeper Idelette Nguiadem.

    Realising that skipper Sackey was ineffective despite her opener, Queens coach Paha replaced her with another striker, Nana Ama Gyamfua, after the recess but that did very little to change the fortunes of the Ghanaians.

    Chances upon chances created by the perfect partnership between Bayor and Darku gave Gyamfua all the room she needed to score, yet she wasted all those chances.

    By the 60th minute, frustration had began to set in on the bench of the Ghanaians. Coach Paha didn’t believe what was happening to his girls and during those desperate moments, the Camerounians almost found the equaliser but a deceptive lob was parried to safety by the ever-alert goalkeeper Memunatu Sulemana, while the rebound which the Queens’ defenders failed to clear hit the crossbar after it had been kicked by Antionette Anounga.

    From there on, the game became a ding-dong affair with the Queens slightly on top and when no one expected it, Djangmah struck the second goal from an acute freekick. It was a goal that took both fans and the Camerounian players unawares, raising protests from their end, but referee Justice Rasoninia insisted it was a good goal and directed for the re-start of the game.

    Gingered up by this unexpected second goal, the Queens probed for more but once again, over elaboration denied them, ending the game with all the three points but just two goals in their favour.

    This allowed the Falcons of Nigeria to take over the top spot with superior goal aggregates having beaten Morocco 6-0 in the second group match.

    Scoring just a goal in the dying minutes of the first half through Mercy Akide, the defending champions resumed the second half, scoring two early goals in the second through Kikelomo Adjayi and Mmadu Maureen.

    Adjayi and Akide increased the tally to five in the 69th and 72nd minutes.

    The Moroccans, who are very good dribblers, had no antidote to the experienced Nigerians, who did well with interceptions. It was from such interceptions that they scored their sixth goal when Riga Nwadike, after intercepting a ball about 15 yards from the goal area, gave a long shot that beat goalkeeper Lamia Boumehdi.

    By this loss, the Moroccans are on their way out of the competition irrespective of what happens between them and the Black Queens in the last group match on Saturday.

    The Camerounians’ fate also hang on the outcome of their match against the Nigerians ,also to be played in the last group match on Saturday.