Women’s Champions League: Ampem Darkoa, AS FAR to fight for bronze
Ampem Darkoa Ladies will be aiming to consolidate their form as they take on Moroccan side AS FAR in the third place play-off of the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League on Saturday, November 18 at the Laurent Pokou Stadium in San Pedro.
The Ghanaian champions failed to pick up a slot to the final of the competition following a 3-2 loss on penalties to Sporting Casablanca after the game ended 2-2 in regulation time last Wednesday.
The "Nana Nma" started the tournament with a 2-1 win over the defending champions AS FAR Rabat but experienced a setback after losing 0-3 to Malian club AS Mande before bouncing back in style against Huracanes with a 3-1 win last Sunday, to finish as Group B winners.
Ampem Darkoa’s momentum and temperament will be put to test once again, especially as they play AS FAR, a side they defeated 2-1 in their opening Group B match and who are also current holders of the trophy.
Emotionally drained from their loss to Sporting Casablanca, the Ghanaians will have to lift up their spirit to find the right motivation to face another Moroccan side.
Unfortunately, the team’s top scorer Mary Amponsah and midfielder Linda Owusu-Ansah will also be missing in action due to an injury and suspension respectively.
The two players were conspicuously missing from the team during their semi-final duel against Sporting Casablanca, a situation which head coach, Nana Joe Adarkwa, has described as worrying.
“Linda Owusu-Ansah’s case will be a worry but the most worrying issue is Mary Amponsah who has not been impactful in this competition because of an injury she suffered in the
Black Queens camp. It is worrying that a player like Mary Amponsah is not in the team but all the same, we shall play and win,” Coach Nana Joe Adarkwa told the Daily Graphic.
Despite the challenges, Coach Adarkwa said he would talk to his girls to put the loss behind and fight for the bronze medal to ensure they finished the competition with their heads high despite missing the ultimate prize.
The coach will expect his leading lights of Tracy Twum, Abena Anoma Opoku and Comfort Yeboah, who made CAF’s 11 best players from the group stages, as well as Ophelia Serwaa Amponsah, Jennifer Owusuaa, Nancy Amoo and Amoyaw Maybel, to carry the team through their final encounter in the tournament.
The final match will be contested between 2021 champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies and Sporting Club Casablanca on Sunday at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.
Sundowns secured their path to the final after defeating reigning champions AS FAR 1-0 in the semi-final while Sporting Club Casablanca were involved in a four-goal thriller against Ampem Darkoa and progressed on penalties.