In a thrilling showdown between two African powerhouses, the Black Princesses of Ghana emerged triumphant over their Nigerian counterparts to secure the inaugural WAFU ZONE B U20 Women’s Cup. The highly-anticipated clash ended in a one-all draw after regulation time, leading to a dramatic penalty shootout where Ghana prevailed with a 3-1 victory.
The match witnessed an intense battle on the field, with both teams displaying remarkable skill and determination. Stella Nyamekye of Ghana opened the scoring in the 38th minute, converting a penalty to put the Princesses in the lead. However, Flourish Sebastien of Nigeria seized an opportunity four minutes before the end of regulation, capitalizing on a goalkeeper error by Amenyaku to score the equalizer for the Falconets.
Reflecting on the challenging encounter, Ghana’s Head Coach, Yussif Bazigi, acknowledged Nigeria’s formidable status and the tough competition they presented.
“We were underdogs when it comes to playing against Nigeria, and it is true because they started well, scoring many goals and playing very well until they faced this opposition,” Bazigi confessed. “In all, I will say all of us did very well.”
Bazigi also praised his team, emphasizing their resilience and achievement.
“I have to commend my girls because this is an entirely new team. They were not privileged to go to the U17 World Cup like Nigeria did. Nigeria had most of their players here and some of their players participated in Costa Rica U20. So they had a solid team, but this is a new team that I am building, and I think I have to commend these girls and shower a lot of praises on them,” he added.
Afi Amenyeku, the goalkeeper for Ghana’s Black Princesses, emerged as the hero of the night. Her exceptional performance included saving two penalties during the shootout, which played a pivotal role in securing Ghana’s victory and making them the first-ever champions of the U20 women’s competition in the WAFU Zone B.
In another match of the tournament, Burkina Faso triumphed over Benin to claim the third-place spot, concluding the maiden edition of the WAFU Zone B U20 Women’s Cup on an exciting note.
Story by: Rashad Usman Sinah | univers.ug.edu.gh