ROAD TO GHANA 2018: Gambia line up Mali friendly ahead of Nigeria clash

By John Mendy

Gambia’s Women’s National team will host two international warm up friendlies against their West African counterparts Mali later this week.

The Gambia play Mali in double legged international friendly matches slated for May 16th and 19th respectively.

The friendlies form part of Coach Mariama Sowe’s readiness to face Africa’s eight-time champions (Super Falcons) Nigeria in the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers later in June.

Mali, who will be playing for a place in the continental showpiece event in Ghana later this year, will also use the friendlies to prepare against Ivory Coast in the second and final round qualifiers.

The Gambia is aiming to make its first appearance in the tournament while Nigeria aims to defend their eighth Africa Cup of Nation success (Africa’s most successful team in Women’s Football).

The Queen Scorpions stunned Burkina Faso on penalties in the previous round to set up a Super Falcons’ meeting in the second and final round qualifiers for Ghana 2018.

The first leg of the Queen Scorpions and Super Falcons clash will be on Tuesday 5th June at the National Independence stadium in Bakau.

The Nigeria Football Federation has chosen Monday June 11th for the concluding leg in Nigeria and will be played in the U.J Esuene Stadium in Calabar.

Meanwhile the Queen Scorpions head Coach Mariama Sowe is currently training with 22 players as two of her key players are nursing injuries.

Both Mariama Bojang (Red Scorpions FC) and Mbassey Darboe (Interior Ladies FC) are ruled out of the rest of the qualifiers.

The rest are the players under training at the National Technical Training centre in Yundum:

Goalkeepers: Mariama Ceesay – Red Scorpions, Aminata Gaye – Interior

Defenders: Clara Gomez – Interior, Awa Jawo – Red Scorpions, Mama Saidy – Interior, Rugi Sowe – Armed Forces, Mamie Sylva – Armed Forces, Ajara Samba – Red Scorpions, Amie Jarjue – Interior, Nenneh Jallow – City Girl.

Midfielders: Penda Bah – Interior FC, Metta Sanneh – Interior, Awa Tamba – Red Scorpions, Binta Colley – Interior, Jabou Jobarteh – Interior, Fanta Jarju – Armed Forces, Fatou Darboe – Interior.

Forwards: Aminata Camara – Red Scorpions, Adama Tamba – Red Scorpions, Isatou Jallow – Interior, Mam Drammeh – Abuko United, Ola Buwaro – Red Scorpions.

 

Super Falcons head coach Thomas Dennerby has invited 26 players for the qualifiers against the Gambia.

Most of the 26 players called up by Dennerby were part of the home-based team that won a bronze medal at the 2018 WAFU Women’s Cup with the only foreign-based player being Ngozi Ebere.

Super Falcons full Squad list:

Goalkeepers: Christy Ohiaeriaku (Confluence Queens); Tochukwu Oluehi (Rivers Angels); Chioma Nwankwo (Nasarawa Amazons)

Defenders: Ngozi Ebere (Barcelona FC Women, Cyprus); Emmanuella Ingenue (Pelican Stars); Rebecca Ajiga (Edo Queens); Gineka Ikeh (Bayelsa Queens); Sarah Nnodim (Nasarawa Amazons); Ugochi Emenayo (Nasarawa Amazons); Joy Jegede (Bayelsa Queens); Mariam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons); Maureen Okpalla (Confluence Queens)

Midfielders: Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons); Osas Igbinovia (Bayelsa Queens); Goodness Onyebuchi (Sunshine Queens); Patience Agbokade (Sunshine Queens); Orjiugo Godson (Abia Angels); Evelyn Nwabuoku (Rivers Angels); Ogechi Ukwuoma (Pelican Stars)

Forwards: Chinaza Uchendu (Rivers Angels); Joy Jerry (Bayelsa Queens); Tessy Biahwo (Bayelsa Queens); Ijeoma Obi (Bayelsa Queens); Zainab Olapade (Jokodolu Babes); Glory Oshaghe (Confluence Queens); Nneka Julius (Edo Queens)

SECOND ROUND FIXTURES IN FULL:

Congo v Cameroon

Kenya v Equatorial Guinea

Zambia v Zimbabwe

Algeria v Ethiopia

Ivory Coast v Mali

Gambia v Nigeria

Lesotho v South Africa

Dates

First leg & Second leg: 4–12 June

The seven winners of the second round will join hosts Ghana in the final tournament set for 17 November to 1 December.

AWCON 2018 will double as the African qualifiers for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The three top nations will qualify for the World Cup to be held in France.

Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast were the three teams that finished tops in AWCON 2014 to qualify for the last World Cup in 2015.

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