Ghana started her defence of the WAFU Zone B trophy in emphatic fashion, putting two goals without answer past Senegalese opposition in their opening group match, today.
World U17 superstar, Mukarama Abdulai and Evelyn Badu put all pretenders on notice of Ghana’s determination to retain the title the Black Queens won last year in the same country against the host nation.
Ghana pipped Cote d’Ivoire 1-0 in the grande finale last year to lift the trophy of the inaugural WAFU competition. That result avenged Ghana’s 0-1 group loss to the host nation.
This time, though, the Black Queens have started stronger, guided by the same trophy-winning coach, Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo.
In the other group match, hosts Cote d’Ivoire made a louder statement, crushing hapless Togo 5-0, a fate that could get worse within 48 hours.
Ghana are next in line, Friday, to take a shot at their next door neighbours, Togo, looking more like the designated group punchbag.
Before that, though, World cup-bound Nigeria take their turn, tomorrow, seeking to assert their might over Burkina Faso in their first group match followed by
Niger pitted against Mali.
Nigeria are strong favourites, this year, along with holders, Ghana.
Ghana drew with Nigeria 1-1 in their heavyweight semifinal tie, last year, before edging out the Super Falcons 5-4 on penalties to berth at the finals against hosts, Cote d’Ivoire, who succumbed 0-1 to the might of Ghana.
Nigeria might have ‘avenged’ that loss by beating South Africa to lift the trophy at the AWCON 2018 hosted by Ghana, which suffered a first round exit.
It remains to be seen whether it would be a repeat or revenge involving the two heavyweights, this year.
Could hosts, Cote d’Ivoire, have a say about it?