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Sports News of Saturday, 25 November 2000

Source: African Soccer Magazine

Black Queens Win Third-Place After Nine-Goal Thriller

The Ghana women's national team, the Black Queens defeated their Zimbabwean counterparts, the Amazons 6-3 to salvage some lost pride in a one-sided third-place play off in the African Women's Championship at the Vosloorus Stadium on Friday.

Eight goals were scored in the first-half with Ghana leading 6-2 before the interval, and despite the Zimbabweans gallant fight back, the Amazons could only manage to add a single goal to the deficit.

Ghana were runner-up in 1998, but have failed to reach the final this year after South Africa edged out the Black Queens in the semi-finals by a lone goal.

Zimbabwe have conceded 12 goals in their last two matches after losing the semi-finals 6-0 to Nigeria, following an impressive performance in the group matches against South Africa, Uganda and Reunion.

Goals by Elizabeth Baidu, Adjoa Bayor, Memuna Barku, Gloria Foriwa and an own goal by Rosemary Mutabza assured Ghana the Bronce medal in Johannesburg, but Zimbabwe will return empty-handed, albeit after a spirited campaign.

Hosts, South Africa face the biggest challenge yet, with a clash against hot favourites, the Falcons of Nigeria in Saturday's final.

After avenging the 4-1 defeat to Ghana two years ago, South Africa set out again to take revenge over the Falcons who beat the Banyana Banyana 7-1 in a World Cup qualifier in 1995 at the Rand Stadium.

One player Nigeria will count on to win a successive Nations Cup is Mercy Akide, who is the top scorer in the competition with five goals.

The lanky Nigerian striker has been a menace to the likes of Ghana, Morocco and Cameroon, and should be no different against the South Africans.

On the other hand, South Africa will rely heavily on their defence, which will be marshalled by one of the veterans of the side, Sibongile Khumalo.

Martha Malaku and new recruit Maud Khumalo will also have to keep the rampant Nigerian forwards in check.

Up front, South Africa have the trickery of Veronica Phewa, the stylish Hilda Lekalakala and the speedy Jo-Anne Solomon.