Ghana/Kenya: Second Half Ghana Comeback Sinks Kenya
Three goals in the second half completed a comeback from Ghana as they won 3-1 against debutants Kenya in their Group B match on Sunday in Limbe.
Esse Akida had scored Kenya’s first ever goal in the history of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in the 23rd minute but Samira Suleiman, Elizabeth Addo and Portia Boakye ensured the Black Queens start their campaign positively.
It was a crushing end to the Harambee Starlets who had given in a shift on their debut and looked like experienced players throughout the match. However, their soft underbelly in defending set pieces came in to haunt them as Ghana hit where it hurt most.
The three-time finalists had a second minute goal rule offside when Addo headed the ball in from a freekick. In the 13th minute, captain Addo once again found some space inside the box to head in from a corner, but her effort went wide.
The West Africans took advantage of Kenya’s slow start into the match, but did not maximize on the chances they created.
The Starlets slowly grew into the match and had the first chance of the match in the 20th minute with Christine Nafula’s shot hitting the side netting after driving into the box from the right.
Akida then fired the East Africans into the lead in the 24th minute striking a volley unmarked at the far post from a Wendy Achieng cross.
The Black Queens almost drew level four minutes later with skipper Addo curling a free-kick inches off target. Four minutes later, Boakye had an attempt from a free-kick but it landed straight into the arms of Samantha Akinyi, the Starlets custodian.
Kenya almost finished the half on a high but Akida could not get a strong shot on target after the Ghana keeper Nana Ama Asantewaa punched Elizabeth Ambogo’s free kick her way.
Ghana came back from the breather a much improved side and equalized four minutes into the second half. Suleman dived in at the edge of the six yard box to head in a free kick from Boakye with the Kenyan defense left dazed.
Kenya custodian Samantha Akinyi was forced to make a great save in the 53rd minute, narrowing the angle at the near post to block a shot from Suleman who had picked up a ball beautifully lofted into the area behind the Kenyan defense.
Four minutes later, Okyere danced away from Wendy Achieng on the right but her ferocious shot could only hit the side netting.
Ghana’s strong start ended in Addo’s penalty goal on 71 minutes, awarded after Kenya right back Ann Aluoch was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box.
Suleiman was denied her brace after the second assistant referee waved her flag with the ball having gone out of play before curling into the net in the 82nd minute.
The Queens sealed the deal in stoppage time with Boakye’s freekick from a distance dripping into the net.
The Ghanaians next face bitterest rivals Nigeria on Wednesday whilst Kenya squares Mali both in Limbe.
Source: Confederation of African Football.