Posted by News Express | 17 September 2013 | 4,168 times
The chances of Ghana, the defending champion in the female category of the Airtel Rising Stars U-17 Tournament, retaining the trophy it won last year in Kenya appears gloomy after it slumped to a lone goal defeat in the hands of underdogs, Tchad Republic, in the opening match for Group B.
The Ghanaians started the game looking threatening and enjoying greater ball possession and team play, but fell to a Sidonie Madallah first half strike. Ghana made spirited efforts to equlaise in the second half were denied by the solid defence of the Chadians and the heroics of goal keeper Beatrice Kaltouma.
Yet another factor was the overwhelming support from a strong delegation of the Tchadian community in Nigeria led by its General Consule in Lagos, Ambassador Moussa Sultani, and the President of the Community in Nigeria, Isa Jimoh, the team grew in confidence and was causing so much problem for the Ghanaian girls who appeared to have lost the fighting power that saw them lift the trophy last year.
The scoreline was simply scandalous in another group match, with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) thrashing Gabon 8-1 to zoom to the top of the table.
A hat trick from Mfwamba Balongo and goals from other players notably Ekonde Linengo, and Kalapwe Genessiat completed the rout.
In other group matches played earlier in the day, Sierra Leone lost 0-1 to Tanzania while Malawi defeated Uganda 1-0.
FIREWORKS IN MALE CATEGORY
In the male category, Ghana defeated Tanzania 2-1, Malawi 3-Rwanda 0, Madagascar 3-Kenya 2 and Zambia 2-Sierra Leone 1.
More group matches continue tomorrow at the Legacy Pitch and NIS Sports Field, both at the National Stadium, Surulere and the Onikan Stadium, Lagos.
The competition kicked off yesterday at the Agege Township Stadium with host Nigeria recording respective victories in the opening group matches against Kenya female and DRC male teams.
The Airtel Rising Stars U-17 soccer tournament is a unique pan-African initiative of Airtel Africa designed to create a pool of talents to feed the national football teams of African countries.
•Photo shows Ghanaian midfielder Michael Owusu tussling with a Tanzanian player in their clash which the Ghanaians won 2-1. Their female counterparts were less lucky against TChad.
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