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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 14:58 GMT 15:58 UK
Ghana keen to repel underdog status
Kehinde Adeogun
BBC Sport, China

Adjoa Bayor
Adjoa Bayor is Ghana's key player at the World Cup

Ghana are hoping it will be third time lucky when they take part in the 2007 women's World Cup in China.

The Black Queens have won only one game in two World Cup appearances, beating Australia 2-1 at the 2003 tournament.

But the West Africans, the lowest ranked of the 16 finalists in China, have the opportunity to redeem themselves when they kick off their Group C campaign against Australia on 12 September.

They will face highly-rated Canada four days later before completing their group campaign on 19 September with a game against Norway, the fourth best team in the world.

But it goes without saying that the Ghanaians have improved since their last appearances at the World Cup.

They are currently top of Africa's qualification table for the 2008 Olympics Games following recent 1-0 wins over continental giants Nigeria and South Africa.

Captain Adjoa Bayor has been instrumental in the team's recent success and will no doubt be expected to do the business in China.

The midfielder has blossomed into a world-class player, thanks largely to the invaluable experience gained while playing club football in the United States with FC Indiana.

Bayor, who was selected for the World All Stars that took on China in April this year, says the Black Queens can cause an upset or two.

"It's okay if our opponents want to talk big, but our concern is to get the results on the field," Bayor said.

Even though Bayor will be without many of her team-mates who played at the last World Cup, coach Isaac Paha has drafted in several young promising players, notably Anita Amankwa.

The teenage sensation, who is blessed with lightning speed, emerged as one of the top scorers at the African Championship last year.

Inspirational goalkeeper Memunatu Sulemana makes a return to the national team after a two-year absence.

The former Fifa All Stars player quit the game after her club Post Ladies refused her request to continue her career abroad.

There is an air of excitement and optimism as the Black Queens aim to progress to the tournament's knock-out stages at the third time of asking.


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