Either Nigeria or Ghana will join Cameroon in the knockout round of the 10th Women’s Africa Cup of Nations today, if only one emerges victorious over the other.
The West African rivals will however have more than just three points to battle for, when they faceoff at the Limbe Omnisport Stadium by 4pm on Wednesday.
There is also bragging right at stake on the day, even if Nigeria have won the title seven times before, while Ghana have only come close to winning it on three occasions – Nigeria stood in their way in 1998, 2002 and 2006.
Meanwhile, since 2006, the Black Queens have not even managed to go beyond the group stage of the eight-nation tournament. And one can only imagine what it would mean to them if they could achieve that long lost feat against the ‘almighty’ Super Falcons.
The past six meetings between both sides in the championship has seen Ghana grab just one win over Nigeria; a 1-0 victory in one of the group matches of the 2002 edition. There have been two draws and three vital victories for the Super Falcons as well but no one knows what today has in store.
“We are very prepared for the game, the Nigerian team knows us very well and we also know them too.”
“We are not under any pressure, it is just a normal game and we are ready to play for the three points,” Ghana Captain, Elizabeth Addo proclaimed at the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
It is believed that Ghana will be the toughest test yet for Nigeria, who had a walk in the park in their emphatic 6-0 victory over Mali in their opening match. The Black Queens on the other hand, defeated the Harambee Starlets of Kenya in controversial circumstance.
And according to Super Falcons coach, Florence Omagbemi; “we watched the Ghanaian team against the Kenyan team, just as the Ghanaian team watched us against the Malian team. We were all trying to size each other up.
“We believe the Ghanaian team are a very good team, just like the Malians. So with the Ghanaian team, we are looking forward to having a good match. At the end of the day, we want to make sure we come out victorious,” Omagbemi said.
On his part, Black Queens coach, Yussif Basigi is not perturbed by the number of goals Nigeria scored against Mali.
“The score line doesn’t matter much. They scored 6 goals and we could have also beat Mali by more than six goals. That is football for you. Who knows, if Nigeria had played against Kenya, the result could have been different,” Basigi stated.