By James K. Attaglo Wilson| firstname.lastname@example.org
A poisoned chalice worth passing awaits the Black Queens of Ghana as they come face-to-face with the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon this afternoon at the Accra Sports Stadium in their final Group game of the AWCON 2018 tournament.
Having lost their last match [1-2] against Mali only a win over the Indomitable Lionesses will keep the host [Ghana] afloat in the biennial CAF organized event.
The overwhelming favourite [Cameroon] in this afternoon’s encounter sits atop the Group A table with 6 points and need just a draw to passover to the semi final stage of the competition.
On the contrary, the host [Ghana] must do everything humanly possible to steal a win or bow out of the tournament which doubles as the qualifier to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
The Black Queens have not demonstrated that champaign-like performance worth winning the trophy but in all this the coach of the team – Bashir Hayford instead of addressing what is affecting his team when last he got the opportunity to meet the media after their defeat to Mali was rather jawing about grammatical innuendos which has less bearing on the way to winning the trophy.
It’ll also be very unfair for any man to put all the blames associated with the Black Queens at the doorstep of the experience Ghanaian tactician [Bashir Hayford] because his own goalkeeper [Patricia Mantey] betrayed him in their game against the Malians.
The Lionesses themselves have not been overly brilliant in this year’s Africa Women Cup of Nations [AWCON 2018] but at least they’ve shown glimpses of a matured side that has the tenacity to winning the ultimate [title].
For instance, they control the ball very well, they have speed, they combine skill with power, and above all play as a unit. This has obviously caused fear and panics in the eyes of most a Ghanaian supporter going into the game, but you can never say never in the game of football until the final whistle is blown.
A critical look at the Black Queens reveals that some key personalities in the team weren’t ready before the tournament got underway due to poor preparations.
In fact, some of the players will need two more weeks to get conditioned properly for the task ahead.
Players to look out for
Ghana: Samira Suleman, Gladys Amfobea, Linda Eshun, Grace Asantewaa, Elizabeth Addo, and Sherrifatu Sumaila.
Cameroon: Christine Manie, Gaelle Enganamouit, Nchout Njoya Ajara, Charlene Meyong Menene, Francine Zouga, and Michelle Akaba.
Giants of similar fate
The Black Queens and the Indomitable Lionesses have both not won the Africa Women Cup of Nations before.
The Cameroonians have finished second on four occasions [1991, 2004, 2014, and 2016] in the history of the Africa Women Cup of Nations.
On the other hand, the Black Queens finished as runners-up in the 1998, 2002, and the 2006 editions of the tournament.
Before I sign off for a cup of tea I’ll entreat coach Bashir Hayford to use the last hour prior to kick off to tutor the Black Queens on the tales of Daniel which can be found in the Book of Daniel 1-6 which talks about the “Fiery Furnace.”