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Black Queens coach, Nora Hauptle explaining a point to Jennifer Cudjoe and Ernestina Abambila (right) during the team’s training in Johannesburg last Sunday
Black Queens coach, Nora Hauptle explaining a point to Jennifer Cudjoe and Ernestina Abambila (right) during the team’s training in Johannesburg last Sunday

Black Queens to seal AFCON return against Namibia

Ghana's Black Queens stand on the brink of securing their spot in the upcoming Women's Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) as they prepare to face Namibia this afternoon in the return leg of the final qualification round.

Coach Nora Hauptle and her skilled players enter today's match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa, carrying a healthy 3-1 lead, and they look determined to avoid costly errors that could jeopardise their progress.

The team aim to conclude a successful campaign and secure their place in women’s football's grand stage in Morocco.

Missed chance

After missing out on the 2022 Women's AFCON and the chance to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, the Black Queens are eager to maintain their flawless run under Coach Hauptle, who took charge in January and has transformed the team with an impressive record of 10 consecutive victories and boasting impressive statistics.

This afternoon, they seek to showcase their prowess against Namibia, which capitalised on an own goal in the first leg encounter at the Accra Sports Stadium last Friday to reaffirm their dominance and secure a return to a tournament Ghana was once a dominant force.

The Ghanaian coach is likely to field a familiar line-up, relying on a blend of experienced and youthful players, including the two-goal heroine Doris Boaduwaa, skipper Portia Boakye, Evelyn Badu, Jennifer Cudjoe, Alice Kusi, and other stalwarts.

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With a clean bill of health, Coach Hauptle has a pool of talented players to choose from, including Janet Egyir, Grace Asante, Cynthia Findiib, Stella Nyamekye, Anasthesia Achiaaa, Vivian Adjei Konadu, Azumah Brgre, Grace Acheampong, Gifty Assifuah, Susan Ama Duah, Sherifatu Sumaila, Philomena Abekah, and Comfort Yeboah.

Ghana's progress in the qualifiers has been impressive.

 They began the campaign on a good note defeating Rwanda 7-0 away before recording a 5-0 victory in Accra for a 12-0 aggregate win and a date with Namibia in the final round of qualifiers.

Namibia, on the other hand, advanced to the final round after a 5-2 aggregate win over the Gambia in a two-leg tie in Morocco.

Nine return leg matches take place today as teams seek coveted spots in the continent's premier women's competition, with the clash between Kenya and hosts Botswana among the key fixtures after the first leg ended 1-1.

Other encounters of note involve Congo which host Tunisia, Dr Congo versus Equatorial Guinea, Egypt versus Senegal, Guinea versus Mali, Togo versus Tanzania, Zambia versus Angola, Cape Verde versus Nigeria.

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