Nigerian champions, Delta Queens succumbed to a 1-0 loss against Ghanaian league winners, Ampem Darkoa in the final of the 2023 West Africa Zone B (WAFU-B) Women’s Champions League Qualifiers final at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City, Edo State, on Sunday.
The two finalists were the only unbeaten teams in the tournament with the eventual winners expected to represent the zone at the third edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League.
Delta Queens coach, Tosan Blankson started Anderline Mgbechi, Nmesoma Ibeh, Chidera Okenwa, Rebecca Adegbemile, Chinaza Agoh, Taiwo Afolabi, Folajomi Olabiyi, Chisom Henry, Effion-Anwan Ekeng, Favour Amaeze, and Fehintola Mabokanje.
For Ampem Darkoa, Aishetu Fatao Awini, Mavis Owusu, Diana Amoako, Ophelia Serwaa Amponsah, Tracey Twum, Comfort Yeboah, Abena Anoma Opoku, Nancy Amoh, Mary Amponsah, Esther Owusu, and Linda Owusu Ansah started the game.
Delta Queens dominated possession and denied the Ghanaians the chance of scoring in the first 30 minutes for the first time in the competition. As the game approached halftime break, the deadlock was finally broken when Ophelia Amponsah benefited from a free kick that wasn’t well punched by Delta Queens goalkeeper, Mgbechi Anderline to score the winning goal for Ampem Darkoa.
The introduction of Mercy Omokwo and Temilope Owoeye in the second half added more spark to the attack but the former seemed isolated upfront.
With time running down, the coach introduced Esther Inyang in place of captain, Taiwo Afolabi.
Efforts to level the scoreline proved futile as the Ghanaians held on to clinch their second WAFU-B title in Nigeria and will represent the zone at the third CAF Women’s Champions League in Ivory Coast.
For the first time, Nigeria will not be represented at the CAF Women’s Champions League after Rivers Angel (2021) and Bayelsa Queens (2022) both represented the country at the competition.