By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
Barely three months to the African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) crunchy qualifiers match between Nigeria and Ghana, Black Queens Head Coach, Mercy Tagoe says her team will end the reigns of the defending champions Super Falcons, when both countries meet in October.
Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) had in a bizarre draw for the 2022 AWCON final slated for Morocco which will also serve as qualifiers for 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final in Australia and New Zealand pitched Nigeria and Ghana in the first round knockout tie.
CAF also fixed the first leg of the big match to hold during the FIFA Window of October,18 to 26, 2021 while the second round will be on FIFA Window of February 14 to 23 , 2022.
Winner of Nigeria, Ghana tie will again meet either Cote d’Ivoire or Niger in the second round knockout stage before qualifying for Morocco final.
Nigeria has featured in every AWCON and FIFA Women’s World Cup final since 1991.
But Black Queens’s gaffer, Tagoe has boasted that Ghana is on the right track to halt Super Falcons’ advance to the next AWCON and FIFA Women’s World Cup final Zealand’s 2022 and 2023 in Morocco and Australia and New Zealand respectively.
In her recent interview published in the FIFA website, Tagoe said they are aware that Nigeria is the reigning African champions, so there is no room for complacency when both nations meet in October and next February.
“We always keep in mind that Nigeria are the African champions, so there is no room for complacency,” Tagoe said in an interview with FIFA.com.
According to her: “The new dates for the qualifiers will also help us to prepare the team very well in all aspects of the game. I believe Ghana are on the right track,” she said.
“Right now, my team are not too bad, as every player is taking part in competitions at their various clubs. The only issue is that they need to continue training together for a while and play a series of friendlies both locally and internationally before I can consider them ready for any competitive matches or competitions.”
Tagoe, a former Ghana international player and later Ghana league referee argued that: “Aside from the technical and tactical aspect of training, we are doing a lot of psychological exercises. I did the same routine at the WAFU Zone B tournament in Côte d’Ivoire in 2018, and Ghana beat Nigeria for the first time at that event”.
She insisted that as teams around the world are dreaming again of reaching the next FIFA Women’s World Cup, Ghana Black Queens are among them, adding that this is why she is now setting out to change all that by helping the team to rediscover their former strength.