15.03.2008 Sports News

Queens, Falcons to set Abuja ablaze

Queens, Falcons to set Abuja ablaze
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Ghana's Black Queens go into action against Nigeria's Super Falcons in a battle of heavyweights whose outcome determines who picks the continent's one slot at the Beijing Olympic Games later in the year.

The Queens, who had beaten the Falcons only twice, go into Saturdays duel as underdogs, needing just a draw to answer their first roll call at the quadrennial summit.

Ghana leads the three-team table with nine points and has come close to qualifying for the competition in which the Nigerians have had two appearances.

With Nigeria favoured, Ghana will have to dig deep into the archives and find that resilience and power that silenced the Falcons when they defeated them 1-0 in the African Women Championship in Warri in 2002 to have any realistic chance of travelling to China.
The stakes are high for both teams - rated first and second on the continent.

Nigeria, as usual start as favourites in the duel pundits believed could easily pass as a final of an African Championship and yet the Queens who will play with attacking strategy recalled Anita Amankwah, are optimistic about their chances.

The game would undoubtedly be a cagey one knowing the pedigree of both sides and the rivalry that exits between the two countries.

When both sides met in Accra last August, it was that own goal that separated both sides in a game that was engulfed with tension, power, skill, wits and flair and in front of an often partisan home crowd, the Queens are expected to be up against two major forces in search of that slot.

Ghana's skipper Adjoa Bayor and her colleagues would come up against experience folks like Perpetual Nkwacha and new kid Cynthia Uwak who would be looking for the opening in defence to outwit Africa's number one goalkeeper, Meimunatu Sulemanu, who so often remains Nigeria's nightmare.

With the battle lines well drawn, none could afford to make mistakes that would deny them the ticket to Beijing.

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