Hosts of this year’s Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AWCON), Ghana alongside Algeria have been eliminated from the tournament with Cameroon and Mali qualifying for the semi-final following the final round of group games.
Coming into match day three, Ghana needed a win against Cameroon to have any chance of progressing in the tournament while Cameroon need to avoid defeat. In the same vein, Mali needed to condemn Algeria to their third defeat of the tournament to give themselves any chance of qualifying and win, they did.
With both games being played simultaneously at the Accra Sports Stadium and Cape Coast Stadium, all four teams needed to be at the top of their game considering that nothing was guaranteed just yet.
Ghana started the game brightly going ahead in the 31st minute through Portia Boakye’s brilliant freekick which caught the Cameroonian goalkeeper off her line. However, the Indomitable Lionesses equalised exactly 10 mins later through Christine Manie from the spot after another goal keeping error; this time from the Ghanaian goalkeeper who rushed out off her line to get the ball conceding a penalty in the process.
Ghana toiled for the rest of the match but couldn’t get the winner as last year’s finalists ensured that the spoils we’re shared in a game the hosts needed to win to progress.
At the Cape Coast center, it was all drama as Mali had to come back twice in the game against Algeria to claim all three points.
The Algerians took a surprising half time lead over the Malians who rallied back in the second half thanks to substitute Fatoumata Diarra’s brace as they not only secured all three points but also qualified for the semi-final of the 2018 AWCON.
Having qualified with 7 and 6 points respectively, both Cameroon and Mali await the second and first teams in Group B.