Maidens set for World Cup opener

15 years ago

Ghana would begin their quest at the FIFA Women's U-17 World Cup New Zealand 2008 tomorrow in Group B where the Black Maidens play Korea DPR in Christchurch.

Wednesday’s fixture pits two sides who endured different qualifying campaigns to reach New Zealand.

Ghana, showed strong character to recover from two successive defeats in the African qualifying to secure a place in the finals of the U-17 World Cup while Korea DPR booked their ticket way back in March 2007 but not in the same fashion as the Black Maidens made it.

Two training tours of Germany and Australia is expected to put the Black Maidens in great shape.

"It is a great experience for the whole squad. This is the first time that any of the girls has been outside Africa so it's a real eye-opener for them. I am very satisfied with the way the training camp has been going and with the whole trip in general,” said, Ghana’s coach Abraham Allotey.

Abraham Allotey believes the team has come a long way after a sloppy start in the African qualifying campaign. The team overcame two successive defeats to manage a place in the list 16 of finalists for the maiden World Cup.

And the comeback record in the African qualifiers remains a statement of intent ahead of the competition.

"Qualifying for the World Cup was already an incredible achievement for our team. We're heading to New Zealand determined to continue the learning experience," coach of the Black Maidens said.

The Black Maidens are drawn with Germany, Korea DPR and Costa Rica in Group B of the competition.

And after an the team’s training tour, the Black Maidens feel confident of making a good start when the campaign begins against the Koreans.

For the tournament’s statistics, Ghana’s Ellen Coleman is the youngest player at the competition.

12 years, ten months is the tender age at which Ghana defender Ellen Coleman has arrived at this tournament.

Ellen, who plays for club side Ghatel Ladies Accra, is set to become the youngest player ever to take part in a FIFA competition, beating the previous record set by Souleyman Maman, who was exactly one year older when he appeared for Togo in a qualifying match for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan.

Ghana would open their Group B campaign against Korea DPR in Christchurch on October 29 before taking on Germany three days later with the final group match against Costa Rica.