The Black Queens yesterday made a triumphal entry into the tournament by beating The Harambee Starlets 3 – 1 at the Limbe Omnisport stadium.
A 23rd minute goal by Esse Akida put Kenya on the lead. But the trend was reversed by Ghana’s Samira Suleman, the 70th minute penalty transformed by Elizabeth Addo and an additional time free kick in the second half by the same Addo dashed the hopes of a Kenyan enthusiastic team. Final score: Ghana 3, Kenya 1. The Kenyan coach, David Ouma, however told the press he would like to watch the clip awarding the penalty by the central referee, Jeanne Ekomou, at the 70th minute. Compared to the first encounter during which Nigeria dominated in all compartments, the second encounter at the Limbe Omnisport stadium was very interested as both teams from the blast of the referees whistle played with a lot of domination.
The Kenyans in red shirt, short and socks, used their taller players strategically heading off any dangerous balls with a lot of stamina. But this was not equal to the tactical team of Ghana dressed white over black shorts and white socks, exploiting set pieces of the match though shorter in gait. The Ghana versus Kenya match drew cheers from spectators from start to finish.
Both Matches of the opening day in Limbe were played under the watchful eyes of the Minister of Sports and Physical Education, Bidoung Mkpatt, South West Governor, Bernard Okalia Bilai and a host of local and visiting dignitaries. The Limbe Omnisports stadium stood the tests of good lighting and good spectators as the second match kicked off at 7pm.
The second day of play in pool B will be next Wednesday with Nigeria taking on Ghana and Kenya lurking horns against Mali. The Ghanain coach, Yussif Basigi, has vowed to take every team seriously.