The buzz of the maiden edition of Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament got louder on Monday as the Secretary General of world football –governing body, FIFA, Mrs Fatma Samoura led football’s dignitaries to the Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Lagos Island for Day 5 of the showpiece.
In the event, it was another very entertaining evening which ended with Ghana appropriating all the spoils in a 2-0 defeat of the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, which ensured the latter ended the tournament without a point and without scoring a goal.
Losers to the Atlas Lionesses from Morocco on Day 2, the Lionesses came out strong to make something out of this showpiece staged in honour of Nigeria’s First Lady, but a determined Ghana erected an impregnable wall at the back and mounted onslaught after onslaught at the fore, with Vivian Konadu, Elizabeth Owusuaa, Princella Adubea and Nina Norshie delighting the crowd with their skills and invention.
The damage could have invariably been greater if not for the alertness and agility of Cameroon’s goalkeeper Gabrielle Bawow Ange.
With an admirable warrior in the person of Captain Portia Boakye at the rear and launching attacks with her long thrusts, Ghana settled quickly into the game and Adubea, a picture of pace and power, coming close as early as the 7th minute.
Cameroon’s Aboudi Onguene churned out a number of interesting crosses from the left flank, which went begging for utilization. In the 20th minute, on the counter, Nina Norshie bent the ball too much as she closed in on goal and Cameroon again got momentary respite.
Claudia Dabaa came close to scoring against the run of play in the 27th minute, but her jab from a corner kick was intercepted by Gladys Amfobea with goalkeeper Dumehasi Fafali at sea.
Ten minutes later, Bawow Ange invented a reflex save that stopped Konadu’s bullet header from going in, and two minutes before recess, Adubea’s ferocious shot from the edge of the box was parried for a corner.
In the second half, Adubea, ever a handful, escaped the offside trap and schemed past the goalkeeper but the ball drifted away. However, on the hour mark, the nifty forward teased two defenders and scored by chipping the ball to the goalkeeper’s blind side from a counter-attack.
Boakye, bulwark at the rear and threatening going forward, tested the goalkeeper with a chip from 20 yards that drifted narrowly wide in the 73rd minute, and nine minutes later, Cameroon’s Bella Rose shot sky-high right inside the six-yard box.
A minute to full time, Adubea, left to her own device on another quick counter, found Konadu, who took on three defenders drifting into a shooting position before firing past hapless Bawow Ange.
Cameroon finished the tournament on a big low, but Ghana would be happy to have put behind them the horrendous 3-0 trouncing by South Africa’s Bafana Bafana on Day 3.
Falcons, Banyana in titanic battle on final day
The top two teams in women’s football on the African continent at the moment, Nigeria and South Africa, will face off in what is a potentially-explosive battle on the final day of hostilities in the maiden edition of Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament at Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Tuesday evening.
The big game will kick off at 4pm.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State is expected to lead the political circle that would include other big-name players to the closing ceremony, while Nigeria’s FIFA Council Member Amaju Melvin Pinnick will lead football’s upper crust. FIFA Secretary General, Mrs Fatma Samoura, FIFA Council Member Aisha Johansen, CAF Executive Committee Member Kanizat Ibrahim and FIFA’s Head of Women Football, Sarah Bareman will also be in the executive box, alongside the full complement of NFF Executive Committee Members and Management.
The Super Falcons, nine-time champions of Africa, narrowly edged the Banyana on penalties in the final of the 2018 Women AFCON in Ghana, after both teams could not be separated in regulation and extra time.
On the opening day of the tournament on Wednesday, the Super Falcons defeated the Female Eagles of Mali 2-0, both goals coming off substitute Gift Monday late in the second half.
Banyana Banyana were truly dominant and impressive in their 3-0 demolition of Ghana’s Black Queens on Friday.
A total of eight goals have now been scored in the tournament. Only Nigeria’s Gift Monday has scored more than one goal.