AWCON 2018: Ghana 1-2 Mali- Black Queens choked by Female Eagles to put semis qualification in doubt

Published on: 20 November 2018
AWCON 2018: Ghana 1-2 Mali- Black Queens choked by Female Eagles to put semis qualification in doubt
Elizabeth Addo of Ghana celebrates goal with teammates during the 2018 TOTAL African Womens Cup of Nations match between Ghana and Mali at the Accra Sports Stadium, Accra on 20 November 2018 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Ghana's semi-final qualification quest suffered a jolt after a shock 2-1 defeat to Mali on Tuesday in the second Group A 2018 Africa Women's Cup of Nations match.

The Black Queens were a seeking a second straight win to become the first team to reach the last four but that backfired.

Mali, who lost their opening match to Cameroon, put up a brave fight to collect the points which sees the pool now thrown wide open.

In the third minute, Portia Boakye delivered an in-swinger to a free-kick which was palmed away-though not convincing-for a corner kick which was eventually wasted.

On the seventh minute mark, stand-in captain Priscilla Okyere attempted a long-range shot but it was too direct and the ball was easily collected by goalkeeper Adoudou Konate.

Linda Eshun whipped in a cross from the left after 18 minutes and it eluded target woman, Janet Ayieyam before flying across the face of goal.

The hosts were stung in the 22nd minute when the crawling Patricia Mantey- Black Queens goalkeeper-deliberately fouled striker Bassira Toure inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot.

Toure, who plays for Malian side AS Mande, dusted herself to expertly nail that penalty through the middle to give the Female Eagles the lead.

From there it was all about the Malians who won a free-kick and Fatoumata Diarra tried to bent one into the far side but it was over-hit.

Just after the half-hour mark Juliet Acheampong cushioned a ball and laid a pass for Boakye whose shot, a low grounder, was off target.

Before the break, Grace Asantewaa unleashed a long range shot on a free-kick from 25 yards but it zoomed straight into the arms of  Konate.

Just after the interval, Boakye came in with a shot from inside the box but it was misdirected away by a Malian defender.

By the 50th minute mark, Sherifatu Suleman spun inside the box curled one with her left foot but Konate had to agile to tip it over the frame for a corner-kick.

Before that, Mali had threatened the Queens and goalkeeper Mantey had to make double saves.

Substantive captain Elizabeth Addo was introduced after the break and the midfielder needed a few minutes to win a penalty which she converted to restore parity in the 71st minute.

But all Mali never dropped their heads and maintained the pressure on the hosts before regaining the lead in the 75th minute courtesy a goalkeeping howler.

Fatoumata Diarra's free-kick was spilled by Mantey and it dropped in front of the dreaded striker Toure who directed home powerfully.

Jane Ayieyam tried to blast home for the leveller but it took a deflection and the ball re-directed for a corner-kick.

In the 84th minute, Ghana thought they deserved another penalty when Addo was pushed from behind but referee Letticia Viana waived for play to continue.