WAFU Women's Tourney: Queens' coach sets sight on bronze after losing out on the ultimate

Author: Beatrice Laryea, Abidjan Courtesy: M&C Group
Coach Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo (left) speaking to the media after the team's training on Friday

Head coach of the Black Queens, Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo has calm the nerves of Ghanaians promising to return to the country with bronze medal after their third place match against Mali in the WAFU Women’s Tourney at the Stade Robert Champroux on Saturday.

Coach Mercy’s side lost the final slot to arch rivals Nigeria last Thursday after Ghana was beaten 4-2 on penalties after a barren draw in regulation time.

The Ghanaians came into the competition hoping to defend the title they won during the maiden edition last year but failed to make it to the final after Grace Asantewa and Grace Animah failed to score from the spot kick after Alice Kusi and Mavis Owusu had converted their penalties.

On the other hand, the Super Falcons expertly converted their four penalties as the result became sweet revenge for Coach Thomas Dennerby and her players, who lost on penalties to Ghana at the same stage last year.

In an interview after the team’s training at Stade de Parc des Sports on Friday, Mercy Tagoe noted that her charges have put the devastating incident behind them and were poised to pick bronze at the end of their encounter with Mali.

For her, meeting Mali today will serve as a revenge because the Malians scored Ghana 1-0 to eliminate them at the group stages of the Total Women’s AFCON which was hosted by Ghana in November, 2018.

“I have really spoken to the girls and they have gotten over what happened yesterday. I have told them that we are left with one more hurdle that we need to cross, at least to win a medal for Ghana.

All that I want to tell Ghanaians is that, it is rather unfortunate that our neighbours, Nigerians, were able to take the final slot from us by beating us during the penalty kicks. But I want to encourage every Ghanaian that all is not lost. After all, the ma;iden edition we were the champions and it has already gone down into the history books," she said.

She continued: "We are going to fight for the third place so they should all continue to support us in prayers and believe in the girls. They should believe in their own, the Black Queens, who are representing Ghana and we are promising them that by hook or crook we will die for mother Ghana tomorrow to bring a medal home."

On their chances against the Malians she said: "I am not afraid of our opponents Mali. Yes they beat us in the AFCON so we are here to take revenge and believe me that my girls are very determined. We are going into this match with no setback. We are going all out to make sure that we take the bronze medal."

Last year, Mali played at this stage and lost 2-1 to Nigeria. Fatoumata fired Les Aiglonnes, (the Female Eagles) ahead in the 20th minute before Chinaza Uchendua scored a brace to grab the bronze medal for the Super Falcons. 
In this year's edition, the tides just turned and the Black Queens are replacing their arch rival, Nigeria at this  stage while Les Aiglonnes remain a constant figure.
In the entire tournament this year, Mali lost two games, first to Nigeria at the group stage and also to host Nation, Cote d'Ivoire at the semi-final stage while Ghana has lost just a game on penalties to Nigeria in the semi-final.