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Zambia 3-3 Ghana: Gallant Black Queens miss out on Olympic qualification

Ghana’s female national team will not be at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris after losing 4-3 on aggregate to Zambia in the third-round of qualifiers.

Zambia 3-3 Ghana: Gallant Black Queens miss out on Olympic qualification

The Black Queens put up a gallant performance in Ndola, similar to their marauding second-half display in Last Friday’s 1-0 defeat against the Copper Queens at the Accra Sports Stadium in the first leg.

It took a last-minute goal from Barbra Banda after Jennifer Cudjoe had been sent off to break Ghana’s hearts following what was a brave performance far away from home.

Ghana coach Nora Hauptle made just one change to the side that started in the first leg, with Freda Ayisi making way for Gifty Assifuah.

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The Black Queens, however, had a slow start to the game and conceded after just 11 minutes when Zambia captain Banda scored with a smart finish.

Hauptle’s side did not allow the early goal to dampen their spirits, though, and fought back to level the score before half time, thanks to Assifuah’s strike.

The equaliser spurred Ghana on but their momentum was quickly extinguished when Kabange Mupopo put the Copper Queens 2-1 up after the restart.

However, the Black Queens refused to give up and once again restored parity five minutes later, this time Doris Boaduwaa applying a clinical finish to make it 2-2.

Ghana would go on to stun the hosts when substitute Azumah Bugre put them ahead for the first time in the game.

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From there, chances were far and few between both teams and the game looked to be heading for extra time before Cudjoe was sent off in the final minute of added time with a second yellow card after stopping a promising attack.

From the resulting free-kick, Banda smartly smashed the ball low and hard into the net, beating Ghana’s wall to make it 3-3.

The result sees Zambia advance to the final round of qualifiers for the Olympic Games at the expense of the Black Queens.

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