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17.08.2004 Football News

Black Queens paired with South Africa for Nation's Cup

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Accra, August 17, GNA - Ghana's Black Queens have been billed to play the opening match of next month's Women's Championship (AWC) slated for South Africa against the host nation on Saturday September 18 at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg.

According to the pairings released by Confederations of African Football on Tuesday, the Queens, ranked second on the African continent who are paired with Zimbabwe and Ethiopia in Group A have been tagged as 'the group of death".

The match, very important to both sides would provide the platform for the two sides to renew the existing rivalry between the two countries.

The game also marks the second meeting between the two sides in the history of the biannual championship and it is of psychological importance to the Ghanaians who lost by a lone goal in a bizarre circumstance in the semi finals of the AWC when the South Africans hosted the competition in 2000.

The Queens two early goals by Elizabeth Baidoo and Maimuna Darko, which preceded the host goal, were disallowed to enable the Bayana Bayana progress to the grand finals to meet Nigeria.

Defending champions, the Super Falcons of Nigeria are in Group B and are billed to open their defence against Algeria in a group that also includes Cameroon and Mali.

Meanwhile, coach John Eshun has expressed satisfaction with the pairing. The coach told the GNA Sports that his team have adequately prepared for every task ahead irrespective of the level of opposition they might encounter.

"We are very much prepared for all the teams and are convinced no team can stand between us and the ultimate".

Skipper Maimunatu Sulemana who was part of the team that placed third in the South Africa championship had revenge against the host on her mind when the GNA spoke with her.

She said "I think the time has come for us to revenge the 0-1 defeat in 2000 which we hope to do in a grand style to put the "fear of God" in the rest".

Mr Aloysius Denkabe, Chairman of the team's management committee summed up the optimism of the squad when he said, "We have grown from strength to strength since the last championship, and we are poised to demonstrate our refined brand of the global leather in South Africa. " From what I have seen of the team so far, I strongly believe no one can stop us from annexing the trophy this time around" he added.

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