Head coach of Ghana’s women’s senior team, the Black Queens, Yusif Basigi understands that his side need to do extra to achieve a good result in Yaoundé that will help keep them in the race for Rio 2016.
They go head to head with familiar foe, the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, who are still basking in the euphoria of their World Cup achievements, on Saturday in the first leg of the third round to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“Cameroon will be tough,” admits Basigi to State News Agency, the GNA. “There is no doubt about that and I know that. But we will be tougher on them. We know that to be the only choice we have; to go into the match tougher in all departments.
“We have put our paces together very well and we are ready. I saw all their matches at the World Cup and they were impressive. If they had not been at the World Cup, we may not have seen how good they have become.
“For us, that is a big motivation to seek results off them. Who knows, if we had also been to the World Cup, we may have even surpassed their effort because we also have the quality. We must emulate them and this is the time,” Basigi added.
In the qualifiers to the London Olympics 2012, it was in the third round that the Black Queens were knocked out by Ethiopia but Basigi believes this time they will make it to their first appearance at the Olympics.
“We are self motivated to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time. It is good we are termed the underdog because when we come out of it we will get some respect,” Basigi continued.
“We want to prove a point and we know the time to do so is now.”
The last time both sides met was in the last group match of the Africa Women Championship in October last year. A goal from Elizabeth Cudjoe ensured Ghana beat Cameroon 1-0 but that did not stop Cameroon from topping the group.
Conspicuously missing from the squad to face Cameroon is midfielder Elizabeth Addo, who scored in the last game against Egypt. The former Rivers Angels player is said to have returned Nigeria in chase of greener pastures.
Forward Faiza Ibrahim is also not part of the squad after she picked up an injury in training.
However Samira Sulemana and Linda Eshun have returned from spells in Iceland to beef up the team.
“Linda and Samira have just joined the team which is good news because we planned with them in mind. We have also been joined by Fatia Dramani who is getting on track and that is good news for our quality,” Basigi confirmed.
Black Queens’ squad to face the Indomitable Lionesses
Goalkeepers: Fafali Dumehasi, Patricia Mantey
Defenders: Hillia Kobblah, Cynthia Adobea, Edem Atovor, Grace Adams, Linda Eshun, Janet Egyir, Rosemary Ampem.
Midfielders: Juliet Acheampong, Mercy Myles, Grace Asare, Portia Boakye, Safia Abdul Rahman, Anita Wiredu
Forwards: Agnes Aduako, Samira Suleman, Diana Ankomah