Black Queens beaten by Zambia in Paris 2024 qualifiers

Ghana Black Queens vs Zambia during the Paris 2024 qualifiers. Feb 23, 2024

The Ghana senior female national, the Black Queens has suffered a faltering start to their Paris 2024 ambition after losing to Zambia in Accra. Ghana suffered a solitary goal defeat in front of their home supporters as Zambia resorted to hard tactics to see off the match.

Coach Nora’s side conceded early in the first half when Racheal Kundananji of Bay FC breached the Ghanaian defence. The Black Stars who have been impressive under the 40-year-old Nora Häuptle started to mount pressure on the opposition. However, rock-solid defending and the reflexiveness of the Zambia goalkeeper ensured the Ghanaian Queens could not get back to level before the break. Evelyn Badu went close to getting the leveller with four minutes of the half to play but it came to nut.

Following the break, the Black Queens continued to increase the pressure on the opposition. Coach Nora opted for an early change by bringing on Sherifatu Sumaila for Freda Ayisi. Evelyn Badu went close again with just 10 minutes of the second half played but the goalkeeper was up to the task.

With time running out, Nora brought on Comfort Yeboah for Janet Egyir with 20 barely 20 minutes to play. Gifty Assifuah soon joined the action when she replaced Doris Boaduwaa with nine minutes left but the changes were not enough to still break the defence of the Copper Queens.

Black Queens of Ghana vs Copper Queens of Zambia. Paris 2024 qualifying third round first leg at the Accra Sports Stadium on Feb 23.
Black Queens of Ghana vs Copper Queens of Zambia. Paris 2024 qualifying third round first leg at the Accra Sports Stadium on Feb 23. Photo: GFA

Now heading into the final minutes of normal time, Evelyn Badu again went trying but the goalkeeper made the difference by denying yet again the  Avaldsnes IL midfielder. Zambia held on the see off the first leg with a victory despite late pressure from the Black Queens.

Ghana will travel away to Lusaka for the second leg on February 28. The aggregate winner of the Ghana-Zambia tie will face the aggregate winner of the Morocco-Tunisia tie in the final round. Ghana has so far scored 12 goals in the qualifiers. A 7-0 aggregate win against Guinea and 5-0 against Benin set up the Black Queens against Zambia. Zambia got a first round and a walkover against Mali to reach the third round.

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