> Queens Botch Up Chance To Beat Falcons
Ghana's Black Queens and the Super Falcons of Nigeria shared the spoils in their opening Group B contest in the 6th African Women's Championship match played yesterday in Bata, Equatorial Guinea.
The Queens were three minutes away from recording a win over their sworn rivals when Nigeria's Ejere Chijene got the equaliser after Florence Okoe had given Ghana a first half lead.
The first period of the game failed to produce any decent chances for the Ghanaians but Florence Okoe, out of nothing, exhibited good technique when she positioned herself well to drive in a shot which put the Queens in front.
Ghana, failing to dominate play, held onto the first half goal to send the game into recess. However, inconsistency in forward areas appears the remaining weakness that Ghana's coach, Mumuni Gamel, will have to address as the Black Queens prepare for their next group game against South Africa on Wednesday in Bata.
In the second half, Ghana's best opportunity to put the game beyond the Super Falcons was spurned by Adjoa Bayor.
Bayor, who made her way through the Nigerian defence, had the chance to score the second for Ghana with a hapless Falcons goalkeeper on her line but the Black Queens captain swiped air, rather than the ball. And the Nigerians were reprieved.
Nigeria continued to push for the equaliser but the Ghana backline led by Aminatu Ibrahim contained their opponents, while goalkeeper, Memunatu Suleimana, proved equal to the task.
However, a lack of concentration by the Black Queens defence ended Ghana's hopes of running away 1-0 winners as Chijene ran through the central defence to meet a long pass from defence and easily slotted to the far post, beating Memunatu Suleimana for the much-needed equaliser.
And the equaliser denied Ghana the chance to record a second victory over Nigeria in this competition, with the only win by the Black Queens over the Super Falcons coming in 2002.
The result of the other Group B match between South Africa and Tunisia was not known at the time of going to press.
Meanwhile, the tournament recorded its first shocker when hosts, Equatorial Guinea, stunned Cameroun 1-0 in the opening match last Saturday.
The hosts scored from a spotkick in the first half and held on to the lead until the final whistle, even though the Indomitable Lionnesses came on stronger in the second half, looking to redeem the goal and a possible win.
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