Falcons, Lionesses walk tightrope
Written by admin on July 20, 2015
African champions, Nigeria and Cameroon find themselves in tight corners in the continental qualifiers of the 2016 Olympic Games after stalemates in the first leg matches of the third round on Saturday.
The Super Falcons were held to a 1-1 draw by visiting Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea in Abuja whereas ‘Les Lionnes’ of Cameroon came from behind to hold Ghana’s Black Queens to a similar result in Yaounde.
Much was expected from the two teams following their participation at the FIFA Women’s World Cup which ended in Canada few weeks ago especially the Cameroonians, who wrote history by reaching the knockout stage on their maiden attempt.
But they had captain Christine Manie to thank for the equaliser on 54 minutes after Mercy Myles had shot the West Africans into the lead after 25 minutes.
Cameroon coach, Enow Ngachu was without as many as nine players from their World Cup squad including veteran defender Cathy Bou Ndjouh, midfielder Raissa Feudjio and forward Gaelle Enganamouit for the clash due to club commitments.
“The goal that Ghana scored was just a surprise. We were not expecting it. After the goal, we played very well.
“We did not win the match today, but I’m really pleased because my players gave their best. We can go and win there. Ngachu told the media after the match.
His Ghanaian counterpart, Yussif Basigi, said, “We came here with the intention to win because we knew that Cameroon are good. We knew a little about how they play. We are not afraid of them, but we respect them”.
In Abuja, Nigeria surrendered a first half lead to share honours with rivals Equatorial Guinea. Midfielder Halimat Ayinde opened the scores on 25 minutes before Chinasa Okoro grabbed the vital equaliser for the visitors on 65 minutes.
South Africa’s Banyana Banyana was the only side to record a win, but they had to sweat past a determined Kenya team in Johannesburg. Defender Lebohang Ramalepe scored the only goal of the match on 75 minutes with a speculative cross that beat the Kenya goalie.