The WAFU B Women tournament kicked off on Wednesday February 14 in Abidjan, with the host team entertaining neighbours Ghana. The 10-day tournament will involve eight national female teams from West Africa, including Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Nigeria and Mali.
After a fairly balanced opening exchange, Ghana began to create more goal chances but their finishers kept wasting efforts up field.
Portia Boakye was put through by Grace Asantewaa but her last touch floated over the crossbar, when she had only the Ivorian goalkeeper Thiamale Dominique to beat.
The hosts had their strong moment after the half hour mark, with three successive corner kicks that yielded nothing.
Lohoues Christine broke out in the run of play and could have handed Cote D’Ivoire the lead but her close range effort from the box crashed against Ghana goalkeeper Patricia Mantey, who was lucky to be on the path of the ball.
The Black Queens began the second half with great determination but their inability to find a breach in the Ivorian defence kept frustrating their forwards.
Priscilia Okyere was set up on the right flank, after surmounting an opposition she wasted too much time before releasing her cross to the box where Faustina Ampah was waiting.
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After several enticing displays in the midfield, Kpaho Nina grabbed a ball and ran deep, and while the Ghanaian defence thought she would lay for a teammate she pushed on and unleashed a strike that finished in the back net to put the hosts ahead by the 51st minute.
Nina’s left foot was as dangerous in the middle of the park as on the wings. She had another goal opportunity after deflecting a corner-kick but she was soon dispossessed of the ball.
Ghana toiled until end of the meeting but were unable to claim the leveller as they suffer a lone goal defeat in the opening game of the WAFU B Women tournament.