Black Queens in win or bust game
The group campaign of the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) ends this weekend, with Ghana’s hope hanging on a thin rope as they come up against Cameroun in their final Group A game.
A cagey start and an unpleasant result against Mali could make Ghana’s host-and-win dream go up in smoke unless the Black Queens are able to pull through an emphatic win.
Tipped as one of the sides to make to the knockout stage as hosts, the Black Queens are threatened with early elimination if they are unable to beat the Indomitable Lionesses at the Accra Sports Stadium today.
The situation for the Queens looks quite complicated.
They have to win massively against Cameroun and at the same time, hope that the Mali v Algeria encounter being played simultaneously at the Cape Coast Stadium ends in a draw or go the way of the North Africans who have lost their first two matches.
With three points from their opening 1-0 win against Algeria, the Ghanaians had their woes compounded when they lost 1-2 to Mali last Tuesday, a result that has pushed Coach Bashir Hayford and his team into a must-win situation.
Third on the Group A log, a win against Cameroun will not guarantee Ghana a safe passage into the next round, as they are tied on points with second-placed Mali who could qualify ahead of Ghana on the head-to-head rule if they beat Algeria in Cape Coast.
The Indomitable Lionesses can afford to relax as they have already qualified to the semi-finals.
A point will be enough to keep them on top of the group log.
Coach Hayford and his ladies are under pressure and desperate to turn the tide in their favour.
At training last Wednesday, they explored all options in the book in an effort to find a solution to what has so far been the team’s weakness – goal scoring.
The coach told The Mirror that he was psyching up the ladies up to do their best and put everything into the final group game just to make it.
“At this point, our fate is in our own hands.
We will be walking a tight rope on Friday against Cameroun, but we are determined to make it.
We need to give it our all.
The ladies know the stakes and we are psyching them not to give up,” Coach Hayford said.