Ghana coach Yusif Basigi admits his team face an onslaught from their eternal rivals Nigeria in their Cameroon 2016 African Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Group B fixture on Wednesday, but he has warned the Super Falcons the Black Queens won’t be on their holidays at Stade Limbe venue for the clash.
The Falcons got their AWCON defence off to a solid start with a 6-0 pounding of debutants Mali in Yaounde on Sunday. Arsenal Ladies forward Asisat Oshoala stamped her name on the scoresheet four times in the encounter.
Nigeria, who are gunning for their eighth title this time, won the trophy thrice at Ghana’s expense. The Falcons beat the Black Queens 2-0 in the final of the maiden edition of the championship in Abeokuta in 1998.
Nigeria defeated Ghana 2-0 to win the 2002 edition of the tournament –and followed up with a 1-0 victory against their West African opponents in the 2006 finals in Warri, Delta State.
The Falcons are favourites to win the AWCON 2016 title, but Basigi, whose team have yet to lift the trophy, says the Black Queens should not be ruled out as title contenders.
“Any team at this competition are worthy of being crowned champions and we don’t have to be underrated,” Cafonline quoted Basigi as saying after guiding his team to a 3-1 victory over Kenya in the second Group B fixture at Stade Limbe on Sunday.
He insists Wednesday’s fixture won’t be a walk in the park for the Falcons, vowing to give everything to win the clash to reach the semifinals.
Basigi said, “Ghana versus Nigeria is always a different ball game. They massacred Mali 6-0 but it doesn’t mean that they will massacre Ghana.”
The Sekondi Hasacaas manager, who steered Ghana to a gold medal finish in the women’s football event at the Brazzaville 2015 All Africa Games, revealed he would make some changes to his lineup for the encounter against Nigeria.
“Against Nigeria, I think we need to up our game a little bit,” Basigi was quoted by Football Ghana as saying on Monday.
“We’ll revise our notes on our weaker side, we’ll work on it and polish on the stronger side as well.”
He added, “Nigeria shouldn’t underestimate us at all, because when these two countries meet in football, it could go either side, hence we’ll really be determined to shock them and progress to the next stage.”