‘Black Princesses group manageable’ - As Ghana draw France, New Zealand
Yusif Basigi, coach of Black Princesses, the national Under-20 women’s football team, has described their group as “manageable” after his side were drawn against hosts France, New Zealand and the Netherlands in Group A for the 2018 Women’s World Cup (WWC) in France in August.
The Princesses will play the opening game on August 5 against the hosts, in a match many believe will be tough for the Ghanaians. They next play the Netherlands on August 8 and wrap up the Group A contest with the final game against New Zealand on August 12. Basigi, who makes his WWC debut, insists, it will be “manageable.”
Apart from the Netherlands who the Princesses will be meeting for the first time, the other three teams clashed in Group C, during the 2016 WWC in Papua New Guinea where the Princesses held France to a 2-2 draw, lost 0-1 to New Zealand before being held to a 1-1 draw by USA as they exited at that stage.
Reacting to the draw moments after it was held, Basigi told the Graphic Sports: “I think it is not a bad draw. At least, we are not in the Group of Death. What will be needed is good preparation towards the competition.
“I know many people would be concerned that we would be playing France in the opening game. That should not be a problem if we go to the competition well-prepared. Every country that have qualified for the competition have done so on merit, so it will be dangerous for one side to underestimate another.
“Already, we have started planning. We have gone round to see the facilities available for us and we have started making arrangements for some possible international friendlies. All that though, will be finalised in the coming days,” Basigi hoping to lead the team to go past the first round of the competition for the first time on their fifth attempt told the Graphic Sports.
The draw in full
Group A: France, Ghana, New Zealand, Netherlands
Group B: Korea DPR, England, Mexico, Brazil
Group C: USA, Japan, Paraguay, Spain
Group D: Haiti, China PR, Nigeria, Germany