Olympic Games qualifiers: Zambia dents Black Queens’ qualification hopes

By Simon Asare

Accra, Feb. 23, GNA – The Black Queens of Ghana had their chances of qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics dented after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of African women’s football powerhouse, Zambia.

Racheal Kundananhi’s first-half strike was enough to secure a win for Zambia in a pulsating encounter with the Black Queens at the Accra Sports Stadium on Friday evening.

Coming to this match, the Black Queens had their bonuses settled and were confident to pick up the needed win, with many Ghanaians turning out at the stadium to render their support.

The Black Queens started the game on a slow note, with the Zambians posing more threat in the final third.

Kundananji, who is the most expensive female footballer in the world, showed her class when she broke the deadlock with a superb strike in the 19th minute, chipping the ball past Ghana goalkeeper Victoria Antwi.

The Black Queens really struggled to create any clear-cut chances in the first half, with top striker Evelyn Badu left to shoot from far.

The tactical discipline from the Zambians was impressive, as they kept the Black Queens out of the goal and maintained their 1-0 lead at halftime.

The Black Stars started the second half on the front foot as they searched for the much-needed equaliser.
Badu, who was very lively upfront for Ghana, had a chance to pull parity in the 55th minute, but the Zambian goalkeeper saved the shot.

The Black Queens brought on the likes of Gifty Assifuah, Comfort Yeboah, and Freda Ayisi in the second half in search of the equaliser, but the powerful Zambian defence kept them at bay as they recorded the win.

The Green Buffaloes will be booming with confidence ahead of the return leg encounter at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola five days later.

Black Queens Starting XI: Victoria Antwi, Janet Egyir, Grace Asantewaa, Jennifer Cudjoe, Susan Ama Duah, Doris Boaduwaa, Anesthesia Achiaa, Evelyn Badu, Portia,  Jacquleine Owusu