Ghana 1-0 South Africa: Black Queens pip Banyana Banyana in Awcon warm-up

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The Black Queens will head into the home tournament in high spirits following a win in their final preparatory match on Sunday

Ghana will enter the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations on winning note following a 1-0 victory over South Africa in their final warm-up fixture on Sunday. 

Samira Suleman's first half strike w  as the separating factor at the Accra Sports Stadium. 

Ghana coach Bashir Hayford made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Kenya on Wednesday, bringing in Belarus-based centre-back Faustina Ampah and goalkeeper Fafali Dumahisi for Philicity Asuako and Patricia Mantey respectively. 

South Africa, on the other hand, presented a side led by captain Janine Van Wyk at the back and Thembi Kgatlana in attack.

The opening few minutes were clearly a ding-dong affair, with neither side taking a hold of the game. 

South Africa then took control, springing passes together, teasing their opponents and attempting to lure in the home side for a hit. The Black Queens, however, would not be drawn out. 

In the 21st minute, Ghana, who by this time had warmed their way back into the game, broke the deadlock through Iceland-based striker Samira Sulemana, who beat her marker to head home Elizabeth Addo's corner.

Banyana Banyana then had their first real chance when Melinda Kgadiete connected with Nothando Vilakazi's in-swinger. The header, however, flew over the bar. 

Captain Janine Van Wyk also took an attempt at goal but her low free-kick was no trouble at all for goalkeeper Dumahisi.

Soon, it was Ghana's turn to try a long-ranger as right-back Gladys Amfobea drove a shot over the bar. Shortly, Suleman's thunderbolt followed suit - an over-the-bar effort that turned out the last real threat of the first half. 

Just back from recess, Janet Eqyir nearly turned a cross into her own net, a goal-mouth scramble almost resulted in a goal and a free-kick flew over. The South Africans were throwing everything they could. 

Ghana had their first chance of the second stanza in the 65th when Addo's free-kick rattled the crossbar. 

In the 85th minute, the hosts went close once again but Portia Boakye failed to keep her header down when substitute Grace Asantewaa delivered in a teasing cross. 

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South Africa had a big chance for an equalizer on the stroke of full-time but Armanda Mthandi's header flew just wide. 

Hosts Ghana will open the 2018 Awcon on Saturday with a game against Algeria in Accra, a day before South Africa take on Nigeria in Cape Coast. 

 

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