Sunday, March 4, 2012

Namibia Coach Accuse Ghana of Fielding Over aged players after 3-0 Defeat

Namibia’s under 20 national women’s soccer team, the Young Gladiators, lost their return leg U20 World Cup qualifier 3-0 against Ghana at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

A fortnight ago, the West Africans had won their home match in Accra 7-0, giving them a double-digit victory on aggregate (10-0) that sees them through to the next round of qualifiers on the road to the World Cup finals set to take place in Japan from 18 August until 8 September.

Cheered on by only a few hundred spectators Namibia had no chance of winning their home match against a Ghanaian team that was superior in all aspects of the game. It was one-way traffic from the outset, with captain Priscilla Saahene and the speedy wingers Mercy Miles and Debora Afriyie creating numerous chances for the visitors in the early stages of the game.

Namibian goalkeeper Agnes Kauzuu and central defender Lorraine Jossob, however, showed a rock-solid performance and helped their team to keep a clean sheet at least for the first eleven minutes.

It was a through-pass by Cynthia Boakye-Yiadom that split the Namibian defence allowing Alice Danso to deliver a perfect cross to Miles who headed the ball into the back of the net making it 1-0 for Ghana on 12m.

From there on Ghana slowed down a gear, but remained in total control of the game. After half an hour Mercy sent Afriyie on goal with a pass into space, but her left-foot shot from the edge of the box was saved by Kauzuu.

Just before half-time the Namibian goalie parried a well-taken shot by Saahene and Danso´s shot from the rebound was blocked by the Young Gladiator´s defence.

With a beautifully converted free-kick on 64 min Debora Afriyie gave Ghana a 2-0 lead. She curled the ball with a left foot strike from 20 metres into the top left corner sending Agnes Kauzuu flying through the air.

Five minutes later the Namibian goalie made a diving save after a well-placed shot by Ghana´s outstanding player Priscilla Saahene. Shortly after that it was central defender Albertha Dawes who cleared a shot by Beatrice Adawoed Sesu on the line.

On 79 min Sesu scored the third goal for Ghana with a long-range shot into the bottom left corner.

“I am happy with the performance of my girls”, said Namibian national coach Jacqueline Shipanga directly after the match. “Against these over-aged players from Ghana we didn`t stand a chance”, complained Shipanga and urged the governing bodies to take measures against the problem of age-cheating as it would ruin football development especially here in Africa.

Ghana´s team manager Mary Hasford complimented the hosts for having worked hard over the last two weeks to strengthen their side thereby bringing the goal difference down from seven to three.


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