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Senegal still a threat, Black Maidens must win to progress - Mallam Nuhu

BY: Rosalind Amoh
A section of the Black Maidens jubilate after a goal
A section of the Black Maidens jubilate after a goal

The head coach of Ghana’s Under-17 female national team, Mallam Baba Nuhu says his Black Maidens are wary of the threat Senegal pose to their Women’s World Cup (WWC) qualifying campaign and will thus take no chances against them.

On Sunday at the Accra Stadium, the Maidens will host their counterparts from Senegal in the second leg of their second round qualifying tie with the winners of that game progressing to the next stage of the competition.

Though the Maidens have a 1-0 lead from the first leg played in Thies, Senegal, two weeks ago, courtesy a late strike from Princess Owusu, Coach Nuhu says though that is an advantage, it is no guarantee for their onward march and that they would work hard to ensure qualification.

“Yes we have an advantage from the goal we scored in the first leg, however we all know what is involved in the game of football and given that the Senegalese are a good side, we will not take things for granted.

“Instead of thinking to protect that solitary win, we intend to score more goals to advance. Not only will a convincing win secure our qualification to the next round, it will also boost our confidence in the competition as we intend to go all the way to secure one of the three tickets for Africa,” Coach Nuhu said in an interview with Graphic Online.

“The Senegalese are not a bad side, we underrate them at our own risk. We won’t take for granted and will thus need to work harder to win at the end of the day,” he said.

Unhappy with the scoreline from the first leg, Coach Nuhu has over the past two weeks put his girls through some rigorous training sessions as he seeks to get the team in a better shape and improve upon their finishing.

He says of the training: ”It has been an intense session and in the few days, we have moved to the Accra Stadium as we round up our preparations.

“We identified our mistakes from the first leg and have been working on them to improve on it.

“Our focus has been on our finishing as we created many chances in the first leg, but we could not utilize them. We can’t make the same mistakes in the second leg, else we could be punished for it,” he explained.

7th U-17 WWC
The Maidens, bronze medalists of the competition, are eyeing their seventh appearance at the FIFA Under-17 WWC since its inception in
The seventh edition was to have been held in 2020 in India, but was cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

India gets to stage this year’s competition scheduled for October 11 to 30.

In Africa, three teams will be selected at the end of the four-round qualifying campaign to participate in the competition which will have 16 teams vying for the trophy.

There are four other matches to be played this weekend.

In those other games, Nigeria who won 3-0 away to Democratic Republic (DR) of Congo will host the second leg in Lagos, while Guinea host Liberia in Conakry after playing out a 2-2 game in Monrovia.

Morocco welcome Benin to Rabat hoping to take advantage of the point they earned in their 1-1 draw in Cotonou.

Winners of the second tie will join South Africa, Cameroun, Zambia, Egypt, Burundi and Niger who have all drawn byes for the third round.