African Women Championship: Tunisia 1-2 Ghana

The Queens fought hard to live beyond expectations against their Tunisian hosts in the first leg of AWC qualifiers

Tunisia were defeated at home 2-1 by Ghana's Black Queens in the African Women Championship final round first leg tie on Wednesday.

The hosts had a dream start through Ella Kabaache, who broke the deadlock that lasted for 33 minutes, after a massive defending from Ghana hindered the home side’s impressive push, with goalkeeper Patricia Mantey singlehandedly obstructing a string of efforts from Tunisia attackers.

Defender Janet Egyir brought down a Tunisian striker and Kabaache stepped up to send Ghana goalkeeper to the wrong side for the opener.

Ghana gradually got in the groove and began to push play from their back half through the middle of the park into Tunisia’s area, while launching scary breakaway counters but all their attempts were neutralised.

After the break, Ghana continued to pour forth, eventually finding a breach to snatch the leveller through Samira Suleman by the 49th minute.

Ghana were then handed a heavy blow when goalkeeper Mantey was given her marching orders on the hour-mark, after bringing down Kabaache but substitute goalkeeper Nana Ama Asantewaa thwarted the spot kick.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Ghana were growing in ascendancy, pressing for the match winner with quick counter attacks. However, Tunisia had an opportunity to snatch a late winner on 86th minute but the effort floated too wide.

And while it looked Ghana would have it at 1-1 to prepare for the second leg, Priscilla Adubea drove the final nail in Tunisia’s coffin during added time, by snaffling the winner to end the cracker at 2-1.

The Black Queens are expected to arrive in Ghana on Friday, with the second leg scheduled for April 12 at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The seven teams to emerge from the qualifiers will join hosts Cameroon for the final tournament scheduled for Nov 19 to Dec 3, 2016.