The head coach of the Black Queens, Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo, has calmed the nerves of Ghanaians with a promise to return home with the bronze medal as compensation after their third place match against Mali in the WAFU Women’s Tournament at the Stade Robert Champroux today.
Coach Mercy’s side lost the final slot to arch rivals Nigeria last Thursday after Ghana was beaten 4-2 on penalties by Nigeria, after a barren draw in regulation time.
The Ghanaians came into the competition hoping to defend the title they won at the maiden edition last year but failed to make it to the final after Grace Asantewaa and Grace Animah missed their kicks, while Alice Kusi and Mavis Owusu converted theirs.
On the other hand, the Super Falcons expertly converted their four penalties to ensure a sweet revenge for Coach Thomas Dennerby and her players who lost on penalties to Ghana at the same stage last year.
In an interview after the team’s training yesterday at the Stade Robert Chamroux, the Queens coach noted that the players had put the devastating experience behind them, and were poised to pick bronze at the end of their encounter with Mali.
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For her, meeting Mali today will serve as a revenge because the Malians beat Ghana 1-0 to eliminate them at the group stage of the Total Women’s AFCON which Ghana hosted in December last year.
“I have really spoken to the girls and they have got over what happened yesterday. I have told them that we are left with one hurdle that we need to cross, at least, to win a medal.
“All that I want to tell Ghanaians is that it is rather unfortunate that our neighbours, Nigeria, were able to take the final slot from us by beating us during the penalty kicks. But I want to encourage every Ghanaian that all is not lost. After all, in the maiden edition we were the champions and it has already gone down into the history books,” she added.
“We are going to fight for the third place so they should all continue to support us in prayers and believe in the girls. They should believe in their own, the Black Queens, who are representing Ghana and we are promising them that by hook or crook we will die for mother Ghana tomorrow to bring a medal home.
“I’m not afraid of our opponents, Mali. Yes, they beat us in the AFCON so we are here to take revenge and believe me that my girls are very determined. We are going into this match with no setback. We are going all out to make sure that we take the bronze medal.”
The final tie between Nigeria and host Cote d’Ivoire will be played at the same venue after the third place match.