Sheila, Memuna Dropped
AFTER THE Black Queens' impressive performance against their Ivorian counterparts last week, the female national team now has a date with the Super Falcons of Nigeria.
Both teams are meeting in the final clash on Saturday in Abuja, Nigeria, for the qualifying round of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games tournament with the Queens leading the table with nine points following victories against South Africa home and away, and then Nigeria in Accra last August.
Reports reaching DAILY GUIDE SPORTS indicate that a contingent of the Black Queens left Accra last Wednesday for Abuja with 18 players and 8 officials for the crucial encounter without their utility player Memuna Darko and midfield player Sheila Okine who came on as a substitute during their last game against Cote d'Ivoire in Accra.
Sources close to the Queens management revealed that the caretaker coach Abdul Mumuni Gamel has decided to change Queens' bench by also dropping Anita Ameniku alias Afi and Doris to bring on new girls.
The Queens, who defeated the Super Falcons by 1-0 in their first leg game played at the El Wak Stadium in August last year, will only need a point in Saturday's match to win their first ever slot for the Beijing 2008 Olympics, with the group's runners-up engaging Brazil in a play-off for the second slot.
Meanwhile reports from Lagos indicate that the head coach of the Super Falcons of Nigeria, Joseph Ladipo is optimistic that his team which is seeking to maintain its status as the only African side to have participated at the Olympics, will emerge victorious come Saturday when they meet the Ghanaian side that has maintained 100 percent record so far in the campaign.
“I am happy the girls know it and the mood in camp shows they will win and win well to qualify for the games,” he said.
By Pierre Toto