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20.11.2008 Football News

Queens Face Early Bow Out of AWC • After Loss To South Africa

For the first time in their history, Ghana's Black Queens face early elimination from the African Women's Championship (AWC) after a 0-1 loss to South Africa in their second group match in Bata, Equatorial Guinea.

In spite of needing a win to stay in contention for one of the two slots from group B, the Queens yesterday gave Bayana Bayana the advantage when US-based striker Veronica Phewa capitalised on sloppy defending by Aminatu Ibrahim to strike in the first half.

The Queens struggled in the first half but came up quite strongly in the second half in their bid to fight for the equaliser, but it was to no avail as a resolute South African defence kept trouble at bay.

Playing as the lead striker, Gloria Oforiwaa messed up with some decent chances that came her way, and as the tables turned, it was Queens goalkeeper Memunatu Sulemana who saved the team from embarrassment with her bravery, making two superb saves in injury time.

That notwithstanding, it was sweet victory for the South Africans who avenged their 2006 loss to the Queens by a similar margin and recorded their second win against Ghana in women's football.

For the Queens, the defeat means they have only a point from their two games, having drawn 1-1 with Nigeria in the opening game, and unless something dramatic happens in the Nigeria-Tunisia game, the Ghanaians will take an early bow out of the competition.

South Africa, meanwhile, become the first team to book a place in the semi finals of the competition with two wins from two games, having won 2-0 against Tunisia in their opening game.

The Queens play their last group match against Tunisia tomorrow.