CAF Women’s Champions League: Ampem Darkoa poised for victory against AS Mandé this evening
Ghana's Ampem Darkoa Ladies are poised to maintain their perfect start in the CAF Women's Champions League, but they are acutely aware of the need to steer clear of costly errors as they prepare to play against AS Mandé at the Stade de San Pédro in Cote d'Ivoire this evening.
The Ghanaians got off to a flying start with a 2-1 victory against AS FAR Rabat last Monday, a victory that saw them claw their way back from a goal deficit to stun the Moroccan side.
Coach Joe Nana Adarkwah frankly admitted that his team committed some unforgivable blunders against the reigning champions and had been diligently working with his players to ensure there was no repeat performance against AS Mandé.
He remains optimistic that last Monday's victory has set the stage for Ampem Darkoa to win their subsequent Group B encounters with AS Mande and Hurricanes FC to advance to the next stage of the competition.
Tonight's encounter will mark the first-ever meeting between these two teams, but for AS Mandé, it represents a chance to redeem themselves against Ghanaian opponents on the Champions League stage after their 0-3 loss to Sekondi Hasaacas Ladies in the 2021 competition.
While Coach Adarkwa focuses on building momentum in the competition, he will also look to preserve a proud Champions League record, as no Ghanaian side has lost a group stage game. In 2021, runners-up Hasaacas Ladies won two games and drew one.
The Ghanaian champions will again rely on the heroics of goalkeeper Aishetu Fatao between the sticks, and look to Comfort Yeboah to deliver another inspiring performance.
Yeboah, who scored with her only shot on target against AS FAR, was the standout player for Ampem Darkoa last Monday — she had 51 touches of the ball, created two chances, and attempted five crosses.
However, Coach Adarkwah expects all his charges, including Tracy Twum, Mary Amponsah, Ophelia Amponsah, Maybel Amoyaw, and Nancy Amoh, to be in peak form and exploit the aerial weaknesses of their talented West African opponents, whose campaign commenced with a 1-1 draw against Huracanes of Equatorial Guinea.
AS Mandé, who participated in the 2021 Champions League, are looking for their first win having played four games (two draws and two losses) across two competitions.
Just as Ampem Darkoa's forward Yeboah made an impact in their opening clash last Monday, AS Mande’s Fatoumata Diarra scored with her only shot on target in their 1-1 draw against Hurucanes, having made 39 passes from 64 touches.
Alongside the Malian captain, AS Mande are expected to field experienced players such as Aissata Keita, Oumou Traore Sadio Sow and Korotoumou Keita.
Meanwhile, Tunisian referee, Dorsaf Ganouati will handle tonight’s Group B clash with compatriots Houda Afine and Algerian Asma Feriel Ouahab assisting on the lines. Ivorian Natacha Gérardine will be the fourth official.