Ghana Black Princesses coach targets last eight in France

Head coach of Ghana’s Female U-20 side has vowed to take his ladies to the quarter finals of the upcoming FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup scheduled for France.

The Black Princesses are making their fifth consecutive appearance at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup but the Ghanaian ladies have never gone beyond the group stage. However, head coach Yussif Basigi has set a place in the last eight as his side’s main objective for the tournament as he hopes to change the Ghanaian story at this level.

“We’re really hoping to make it this time. That’s our objective”, Yusif Basigi told about the Princesses failure to make it to the quarter finals in previous tournaments.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) turned to the former senior national women’s team boss to end that disappointing sequence. And since his arrival in the post, a sense of hope and optimism has grown in the Black Princesses camp, on the back of some very promising numbers.

On their way to France, the Princesses scored 24 goals in six qualifying matches, one more than Nigeria. And this gives Basigi a lot of hope.

“I’m pleased with the qualifiers we had. We’re hoping to keep the momentum going in France and to play as well as we did in the qualifying competition. Nigeria scored fewer goals than us. I wouldn’t say that we’re better, but it has to be said that our statistics are a little better than theirs.”

Basigi who handled the senior national women’s team, the Black Queens between 2012 to 2016 and guided them to the All African Games title in Congo Brazzaville in 2015, Ghana’s first ever triumph in the competition, said the experience he has acquired over the years will be vital to the Princesses’ hopes of going beyond the group stages of France 2018.

“I don’t see going from the seniors to the U-20s as a backward step. I had the pleasure of coaching the full national team for a long time and I’m honoured to have been invited to take on this new challenge with the U-20s.

“I started out as a Physical Education (PE) teacher and I’m used to working with youngsters. It’s going to be a real test for me”, he added.

Meanwhile, injury has ruled out Ghana’s influential striker Princella Adubea who scored 10 goals for Ghana during the qualifiers. The Ghana coach and the entire team will missed the player who was recently described by coach Basigi as “a phenomenal, disciplined, talented and a tireless worker.”

The Black Princesses have been paired alongside France, Netherlands and New Zealand in Group A. They will open their campaign against the hosts at the Stade de la Rabine, Vannes on August 5 before facing the Netherlands three days later.

Coach Basigi has described the group as a tough one even though he hopes to see his ladies progress from that goup.

“As the tournament hosts, France will have the support of their fans. It’s going to be a tough match and we’ll try to prepare for it in the best possible way. Our objective is still to get out of the group though.”

Below is Ghana’s Full squad for the France 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup:

Goalkeepers: Agyemang Esther, Annan Martha, Mc Carthy Kerrie.

Defenders: Hagan Cecilia, Tweneboah, Justice Amoako, Linda Anane, Belinda Badu, Evelyn Agbonadzi, Shine Asamoah, Joyce Asuako Philicity

Midfielders: Asantewaa Grace, Acheampong, Grace Abambila, Ernestina, Anokye, Olivia, Agyemang Adu

Forwards: Obeng Helena, Anima Ruth, Patience Peterson, Sandra Owusu Ansah, Rafia Alhassan.
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