Nora Häuptle - Black Queens coach
Nora Häuptle - Black Queens coach

Nora Häuptle praises Black Queens despite defeat to Zambia in Olympic qualifiers

Head coach of the Black Queens Nora Häuptle is beaming with admiration for her charges for their spirited performance against their Zambian counterparts in their reverse fixture of the third round of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.


The match, played at the Nwanawasa Stadium in Ndola last Wednesday saw the Black Queens come from a goal down to draw 3-3 with the Zambia but Ghana crashed out of the qualifiers on a 3-4 aggregate.

The Copper Queens profited from their 1-0 victory in the first leg in Accra last Thursday to progress to the fourth and final round of the qualifiers on a 4-3 aggregate.

In a post-match interview, Coach Nora was full of praise for the team despite crashing out of the qualifiers.

“My team was brave, my team was playing football, my team was fighting, I can’t blame them at all. Sometimes it’s hard,” she said.

The Swiss coach also acknowledged Zambia’s resilience and skill saying: “They scored a free kick and the red card in the last minute. We would have loved to go overtime, but all in all, it’s disappointing for us, but kudos to Zambia.”

Barbara Banda scored a brace in the 11th minute and in stoppage time as the Zambians dashed Ghana’s hope of Olympic Games qualification.

The Black Queens displayed an impressive fighting spirit as Gifty Assifuah, Doris Boaduwaa and Azuma Bugre netted a goal each but their efforts could not yield the needed result.

Late into the game, Ghana midfielder Jennifer Cudjoe was sent off for a second bookable offence after fouling an opponent. From the resultant free kick, Banda stepped and drilled the ball past Ghana's goalkeeper Vivian Antwi Adjei to tie the match 3-3, as the home side progressed to the final round of the qualifying competition. 

Zambia will now face Morocco while Nigeria play South Africa in the fourth and final round of the qualifiers in April to determine which two of them will represent CAF at the Paris Olympic Games.

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