Author Topic: Ghana keen repel underdog status  (Read 730 times)

Offline David

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Ghana keen repel underdog status
« on: September 07, 2007, 05:26:35 PM »
Ghana are determined to shake off the reputation of perennial underachievers in their third successive women's World Cup appearance in China.

The Black Queens boast only one victory in their previous appearances at the tournament, beating Australia 2-1 in the group stage of the 2003 edition.

The West Africans, who are the lowest ranked of the 16 at the tournament, will have the opportunity to enhance their image when they kick off their Group C campaign against the Australians on Wednesday.

They will take on highly-rated Canada four days later before completing their group campaign on 19 September with the game against Norway, who are ranked fourth by Fifa.

But it goes without saying that the Ghanaians have improved since previous appearances at the World Cup.

They are currently top of Africa's qualification table for the 2008 Olympics Games following recent 1-0 wins over continental women's football giants Nigeria and South Africa.

Captain Adjoa Bayor has been instrumental in the recent successes of the team and she will be relied upon to turnaround the fortunes of the Black Queens at the world stage.

The midfielder has blossomed into a world-class player thanks to the invaluable experience of plying her trade in the United States with FC Indiana.

Bayor, was selected for the World All Stars team against China in April this year, says they have the chance of upsetting the odds.

"It is okay if our opponents want to talk big, but our concern is to get the results on the field," Bayor said.

Even though Bayor will be without many of her team-mates who played at the last World Cup, coach Isaac Paha has augmented the team with young players, notably Anita Amankwa.

The teenage sensation, who is blessed with lightning speed, emerged as one of the top scorers at the African Women's Championship last year.

Inspirational goalkeeper Memunatu Sulemana makes a return to the national team after a two-year absence.

The former member of the Fifa All Stars team quit the game after her club Post Ladies refused her request to continue her career abroad.

There is an air of excitement and optimism in the Black Queens camp with the blend of experience and youth marshalled by their experienced manager, who is a former international.

The Ghana team are well prepared and will start their campaign with every confidence that they can progress to the knockout stages.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/africa/6983868.stm