Black Queens win over Benin to move on to the Olympic qualifying round for 2024

Black Queens - Rapid News GH

On Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at the Accra Sports Stadium, the Black Queens of Ghana defeated their Benin counterparts 2-0 in the second leg to go to the third round of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.

After winning the first leg match 3-0 at the Stade de L’amitie in Cotonou last Friday, the Ghanaians advanced on a 5-0 total. They will now play Zambia in a two-leg match in February of next year to earn a spot in the penultimate qualifying round.

The Black Queens’ victory over a strong Benin team was a story of tenacity and willpower. The first goal came in the 66th minute, thanks to an offensive midfielder named Evelyn Badu who slipped the ball past Benin’s goalkeeper Alassane Sowiaratou amid a scramble in the penalty box. The first half was characterized by missed opportunities and a strong Benin defense.

The tension was short-lived, as the Black Queens increased their pressure a minute later, causing a Benin player to unintentionally score an own goal while trying to clear the ball. Ghana’s lead was now 2-0 as a result, thus guaranteeing their spot in the next round.

Under the direction of their Swiss coach Nora Hauptle, the Black Queens won for the eighth time in a row, scoring 31 goals while giving up none.

Ghana defeated Rwanda 12-0 on aggregate to open the competition on a high note. They now play Zambia, who were eliminated in the second round of qualifying.

Benin’s resilience

The Benin women, motivated by their 3-0 loss last Friday, matched the Black Queens boot for boot and won a few of free kicks that they did not convert.

With their midfielders tightly guarding Badu, Philomina Abakah, and Grace Asantewaa, the visitors’ defense made it difficult for the Ghanaians to penetrate.

The most of the exchanges took place in the Benin side’s half, but their defenders stood up to the challenge and stopped the Ghanaian strikers from generating any trouble.

The ball is under Vivian Adjei Konadu’s control as Black Queens attack Benin’s half.
Alice Kusi had a chance to score in the 36th minute, but her shot flew over the crossbar and missed the mark. The Ghanaians were unfazed by the Benin team’s resistance and kept applying pressure. Kusi sent a long pass to Portia Boakye, who then put the ball in the path of Grace Asantewa. However, goalie Sowiaratou saved her attempt.

The Beninese occasionally had scoring opportunities, but Ghana’s goalkeeper Cynthia Findiib was uncompromising, and the first half ended goalless.


Coach Hauptle changed up the lineup in the second half, substituting Susan Ama Duah for Blessing Agbomadzie, Gifty Assifuah for Vivian Konadu, Grace Acheampong for Grace Asantewaa, and teenage sensation Stella Nyamekye for attacker Doris Boaduwaa.

The game shifted in Ghana’s favor in the 59th minute when Kusi nearly scored after a crafty single play, only to collide with the Benin defenders.

In the 62nd minute, Badu nearly broke the deadlock but was again stopped by Benin’s defense. However, four minutes later, the midfielder’s perseverance paid off as she snuck past her opponents to score the game’s first goal.

The Benin defense gave up a second goal through an own goal amid a goalmouth brawl as a result of constant Ghanaian pressure.

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