Sports News of Monday, 5 November 2018
Coach Bashir Hayford says his Black Queens side have drawn a lot of positives from their 2-3 loss to Zambia in an international friendly played in Lusaka on Saturday.
The Queens gave up a 2-0 first-half lead to lose to Zambia’s Shepolopolo in a game that both sides used as part of their build-up to the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ghana in two weeks.
Portia Boakye (21st minute ) and captain Elizabeth Addo (33rd) scored to put Ghana in the lead in the first half, but Rachel Kundanaji’s hat-trick in a spate of 18 minutes (65th, 75th, 87th) handed the Shepolopolo victory, as the sides stepped up their final preparations for the November 17 to December 1 tournament.
While it may have been disappointing to give up such a lead, Coach Hayford said his side did well, considering that they hardly had time to settle in before the game, and it was the first time the local and foreign-based players had played together.
“I think I said that our primary focus was on the performance more than the result. It was the first time the team were playing an equally good side and it was important to see how we would respond.
“Of course, I’m disappointed that we ended up losing, but I’m not at all demotivated. Rather, there are a lot of positives we have drawn from the Zambia game. We will work to improve upon them before our next game,” Coach Hayford told the Graphic Sports Online.
He explained that his players got tired during the game due to the travel arrangements that saw some members of the team arrive in batches due to flight challenges, as well as the late arrival of some of the foreign-based players.
“We started well and deployed a high-pressing game in the first half, but we could not maintain the pressure against the well-drilled Zambians. We got tired and also lost concentration, allowing the Zambians to recover to score three goals.
“They [Zambia] are a very strong side and we consider the challenge as a very good exercise. At least, now we know the areas we need to improve upon before the rest of the friendlies lined up,” Coach Hayford explained.
Meanwhile, the Queens have arrived in Nairobi for the second leg of their training tour.
They arrived on Sunday evening and are expected to play Kenya’s Harambee Starlets on Wednesday, in a game that will also help both sides in their build-up for their Women’s AFCON campaign.
The Queens will round off their preparation with a third friendly against South Africa on Sunday in Accra before they get the tournament underway with a Group A clash with Algeria on November 17.
Mali and Cameroun are the other Group A members.
Zambia and Kenya are in Group B with Nigeria and South Africa.