Coach Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo admits her Black Queens face a litmus test against Kenya in their 2020 Olympic Games qualifier but insists her side will pass the test to keep their dream on course.
At the Accra Stadium on Friday, Ghana’s female national team host their Kenyan counterparts in the first leg of their third round qualifier, hopeful of getting a good result to cushion them ahead of the return leg encounter a few days later.
The stakes are very high because any slip in Accra could derail the Queens’ campaign for which reason their coach insists they will go for a convincing win on Friday to ease the pressure on the team in the return leg match in Nairobi on Tuesday, October 8.
Coach Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo preps her team up with a talk as they prepare to face Kenya
“The Kenyans are a very good side with some quality players. They are a real threat but we have what it takes to deal with the threat.
“Our focus will be to win very well in the game on Friday to ensure that the outcome of the second leg has no impact on our progression,” Coach Tagoe-Quarcoo told the Graphic Sportsonline.
Although she respects the challenge the Kenyans could pose, she believes her charges are too hungry for success, and as such they would go all out to overcome.
“We are keen to go the full haul to pick the ticket to the 2020 Games and that means conquering all that stand in our way but we will deal with it a game at a time thus we have mapped a strategy to get past the Kenya hurdle,” she indicated.
Indeed, the Harambee Starlets of Kenya are credited with an enviable record of recovering from bad first legs to deliver good results in the second legs and advance in qualifying matches.
Kenya recovered to beat Malawi 5-3 on aggregate to book a date with Ghana in the third round of the Olympic qualifiers
At least, against Malawi in the second round of this campaign, they lost the first leg 2-3 but won the second leg at home 3-0 to advance and book a date with the Queens.
Their lead strikers, Mwanahalima Adam and Cynthia Shilwatso, played crucial roles, each scoring in both games to bail their side out and against the Queens, they hope to repeat that feat.
The Queens on the other hand took care of Gabon, winning 5-0 on aggregate with a 3-0 away win the first leg and a 2-0 result at home to complete the victory with goals from the likes of Juliet Acheampong, Elizabeth Owusuaa, Portia Boakye and Priscilla Okyere.
With all these players still available for selection, Coach Tagoe Quarcoo is confident they will sail through.
Meanwhile, the Kenyans arrived in Accra on Tuesday morning ahead of Friday’s game.
By: Rosalind Amoh