Algeria stun Ghana with late winner
Algeria shocked Ghana with a 1-0 win in their Group B opener on Sunday at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek.
Substitute Horiya Aaffak scored the winner in the dying stages of the game to hand ‘Les Fennecs Dames’ their first win at the championship since beating Mali 3-0 at the 2004 edition.
Ghana won 2-1 in the last meeting between the two sides which was at the 2010 edition in South Africa, incidentally the opening match of the group, however it was a different situation this time.
Lone striker Naima Bouhani quickly warmed her way into the hearts of the fans with her swift play. Strong on the ball, she was a pain in the neck of the Ghanaian defence and the only of dispossessing her was bring her down.
By the quarter-hour mark, Bouhani already giving the Black Queens defensive pair of Rosemary Ampem and Linda Eshun sleepless moments and during one of such moves, she weaved her way pasrt both before squaring to Nachida Laifa, who shot wide from an opportunity just needing a tap in.
Four minutes past the hour mark, Ghana had their first chance at goal and it was burly forward Faiza Ibrahim, who struck a free-kick that bounced off the post to the relief of the Algerians.
Both teams resumed strongly with Algeria continuing with their long balls approach with Bouhani the contact person all the time while Ghana stuck to their possessive play.
Ghana coach Yusif Basigie brought on Agnes Aduako, scorer of the two goals between the two sides four years ago on 63 minutes but it was Bouhani who stole the show minutes later with a back heel that beat three Ghana defenders surrounding her.
On 75 minutes, Bouhani was yet again on show after collecting a pass from Fethia Bekhedda, but her volley missed target by inches.
The Algerians thwarted several attacks by the Ghanaians who were inspired upfront by Aduako. Six minutes from time, Mercy Myles dazzled her way and laid a cross that met Hillia Kobblah, but Kobblah’s effort was no trouble for Algeria goalkeeper Kahina Takenint.
Bouhanii was on hand again on 88 minutes, beat Kobblah before firing a curler which found its way on the roof of the net
Two minutes later, Bouhani took on the Ghana defence in the umpteenth time in the game, and after delivered a cross which Affak headed in for the match winner.