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Sports News
Black Queens fail Olympic dream 3/16/2008

Ghana’s Black Queens'' dream of making a first Olympic Games appearance has once again been halted by Nigeria’s Super Falcons, courtesy a 0-2 defeat in their penultimate qualifier played on Saturday.

Nigeria scored a goal in each half to qualify for the Beijing Games on superior goals difference.

Both Ghana and Nigeria finished on nine points each, with the Queens needing only a draw before the game to book qualification.

The Nigerians have already made two appearances at the Olympics, but were eliminated in the first round on both occasions.

The Queens, who had their fate in their hand, did not impress and allowed the host, who needed all points to make a third appearance, to dominate throughout the game.

Nigeria’s dominance, as well as the poor officiating by the Ugandan referee Aisa Mabikko paid off after 38 minute through a dubious goal that infuriated the visitors.

Goalkeeper Memunatu Sulemana had pulled incredible saves to keep Ghana in the game until referee Mabikko got to the height of her poor judgement by ignoring a foul on Memunatu and a few seconds later overlooked a handball that would have gone against Nigeria in the Ghanaian area.

Africa’s female number one player, Cynthia Uwak capitalised on the referee’s errors to score the first goal, sending the handful chanting supporters at the stadium into wild celebration.

The Queens, who had struggled to put their game together, had their spirit dampened by the goal and only managed to survive several assaults for the rest of the first half by the charged Falcons with play makers Perpetual Nkwocha and Ifeanyi Cheijine firmly controlling affairs from the middle.

The Queens, after recess nearly got the equalizer through an initiative by skipper Adjoa Bayor, who neatly picked out Anita Amankwaah in the middle.

Amankwah took a fine half volley that forced Nigeria’s goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi to make her first serious save.

But the Falcons were to return to their dominance, buoyed by the cheers from the fans and pressed until the second goal came through Uwak with less than five minutes to end the game.

Ghana would now play Brazil in a play-off to determine who qualifies to the quadrennial games.

LINE –UP, Memunatu Sulemana, Portia Boakye, Ama Saabi, Olivia Amoako, Aminatu Ibrahim, Lydia Ankra, Florence Okoe, Adjoa Bayor/Safia Abdul Rahman, Rumanatu Tahiru/Diana Ankomah, Anita Amankwah, Gloria Oforiwaa.

Source: GNA

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