Monday, April 11, 2011

2nd Leg African Women's Soccer, Olympic Games Qualifiers- Preview

Florence Okoe of Ghana
Ghana vs Ethiopia
Ghana's Black Queens arrived in Addis Ababa as favorites to carry the day,riding on the wave of experience acquired from competing with the best on the continent since 1991. However,Ghana had a rude awakening when they were beaten by Lucy(Ethiopia's national team) by one goal to nil.Even with a win at home and a goal up, Ethiopia is still the under dog as they engage Ghana in Accra in the return leg.
With Ghana losing the services of 2 players,their safest pair of hands, goal keeper Memunatu Sulemana and Ama Saabi,who were both expelled from the game in Addis Ababa. Ghana will have a hard time filling the goal keeping position but could compensate by parading a strong team with the inclusion of Gifty Appiah upfront.Expect the Ghanaians to come with all guns blazing with an offensive mindset in front of a vociferous home crowd.
Credit must be given to the Ethiopians for the character and resilience they showed which won them the game at home. Having displayed fluid soccer skills much to the surprise of the Ghanaians,Rehima Zergaw's dominance in the Ethiopian midfield will be called upon once more as they attempt to put the brakes on Ghana's Olympic dream, but in Accra,Ghana wont go down quietly, expect a dog fight with the better side sailing through.

Brave Gladiators of Namibia
Namibia vs Nigeria
Will the Nigerian Football Federation's call for the use of locally based players only, during the Olympic qualifiers come as a blessing for Namibia ? With the foreign based players, Nigeria walloped Namibia by a whopping 7-0, making any comeback impossible for Namibia as they face the Nigerians on the return leg.Nigeria still has a deep team capable of going on a rampage even without Pepertua Nkwocha or Ebere Orji. Namibia will definitely put up a good fight but can not with stand the Nigerian fire power. This match will be a mere formality for the Super Falcons and the end of the road for  Namibia's Brave Gladiators.

Genoveva Anonma of Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea v Cameroon
With the first leg ending in a stalemate in Yaounde,Equatorial Guinea spearheaded by Genoveva Anonma have an edge over the Lionesses of Cameroon in Malabo. This game promises to be a cracker with both teams capable of  creating problems for each other. Playing before a home crowd,the rugged style of play adapted by the Equatorial Guineans will pose  problems for the nimble footed Cameroonians who are bound to put up a good fight.A narrow win for the Equatorial Guineans is expected here.

Tunisia vs South Africa
Banyana Banyana will travel to Tunisia with a goal in hand after Noko Matlou ensured the South African women a win at home in the 1st leg of their Olympic qualifier. The Tunisians will be dangerous playing at home and South Africa will have  to tread cautiously. Tunisia's strength  lies in the agility of captain and goal keeper Rabia Gargouch who could  stand between South Africa and victory with the Tunisian fans  playing the twelveth man in this encounter.The defensive minded Tunisians at home should not be taken lightly since they are capable of causing havoc at home. With Noko Matlou,Gabisile Hlumbane,Mpulelo Nyandeni maintaining their focus and firing on all cylinders,South Africa can add to their goal aggregate in Tunisia with a goal or two.

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