The official tournament schedule for the 2019 West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Zone B Women’s tournament has set the defending champions, Ghana, and hosts as well as last year’s runners-up, Cote d’Ivoire up in the same group.
The official tournament schedule released has Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Togo in Group A, with Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger in Group B.
This means the group stages could witness some explosive games with a number of repeat or revenge plots in both groups.
Earlier, a tournament schedule sighted by the Graphic Sportsonline had Ghana and Nigeria in Group B, but the official schedule released by the organisers, has confirmed Ghana's group as Group A.
Janet Egyir's goal helped the Queens to win the 2018 Women's WAFU
This year’s tournament kicks off in Abidjan on Wednesday, May 8, with Cote d’Ivoire against Togo, while Ghana play Senegal at the Stade de Champroux.
The final group game of Group A will be a replay of last year’s final which the Ghana’s Black Queens won 1-0 against the hosts.
Ghana's goalkeeper Fafali Dumehasi relishes the chance to lift the WAFU trophy again
Interestingly, the two sides were also drawn against each other in Group during the maiden edition last year, and that opening game ended in a 1-0 win for the hosts, Les Elephants or the Elephants as translated in English.
While the Elephants topped Group A, the Queens finished second and thus advanced to the semi-finals where they also won against Mali and Nigeria respectively to clash again in the final, which Ghana won with a solitary goal scored by Janet Egyir on the third minute.
Group B’s campaign will begin on Thursday, May 9 with Nigeria’s Super Falcons who finished third at the 2018 edition, playing Burkina Faso with Niger playing Mali. Both matches will be played at the Stade du Parcs des Sports.
10 players from the 2018 winning squad have retained their places in the squad for 2019 tournament
The Black Queens are keen to retain the title and coach Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo has named a strong 20-man squad for the tournament.
The squad retained 10 players from the team that won last year while the other 10 are players promoted from the 2018 Under-17 and Under-10 Women's World Cup teams.
The Queens are set to arrive in Abidjan on May 6 to round up their preparations for the opening game on May 8.
Tournament schedule for 2019 Women's WAFU