Ghana warned against Nigeria obsession ahead of Africa Women Cup of Nations

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Exclusive: Abukari Damba believes qualifying from the group stage should be the immediate priority of the Black Queens ahead of the big tournament

Former Ghana men’s soccer international Abukari Damba says the national female side should be focused on successfully negotiating their group at the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations, and not concentrating on rivals Nigeria who are based in a different group.

The regional rivals have been tipped to come up tops of their groups and go on to set up a dream final for the November 17 to December 1 championship.

Both teams have thrice met in the final, all three going in favour of the Super Falcons, who stand as the most successful team in the history of the AWCON with eight titles.

“Nigeria have always been a threat because of their pedigree and the kind of quality they have so far as women’s football is concerned,” Damba told Goal.

“We should not focus on what Nigeria can do, but on what Ghana can do.

“Our focus should be on Ghana and how we can qualify from our group.

“If we’re able to qualify from the group, then we can think about what we’ll do when we meet the Nigerians.”

While hosts Ghana have been drawn against Cameroon, Mali and Algeria in Group A, Nigeria have been pitted against South Africa, Zambia and Kenya in Group B.

“We’re in a very trying group,” said, Damba.

“Looking at the pedigree of Cameroon, they’re a very experienced side when it comes to women’s football.

“Mali are stubborn as well. But you can’t take anything away from the Ghana team.

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“Although we’ve not had the best of preparations but we have wonderful and experienced technical people who know how to do things well when it comes to tournaments like this one.

“With the home support as well, Ghana, in my estimation, will come up tops.”

The Black Queens, who are chasing their first continental title, will open their campaign against Algeria before facing Mali and Cameroon.