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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
Cameroon reach first final
By Mark Gleeson
BBC Sport, Johannesburg

Cameroon players (green shirts) battle with Ghana's Black Queens
Cameroon's Indomitable Lionesses battle with Ghana's Black Queens

Cameroon reached the final of the African Women's Championship for the first time by beating Ghana's Black Queens 1-0 in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

After the match ended goalless in normal time, the Indomitable Lionesses struck the winner six minutes into extra-time when Francoise Bella fired home from close range.

The Indomitable Lionesses will face the winner of the tie between Ethiopia and defending champions Nigeria, which kicked off at 1400 GMT.

Ghana, who had reached two of the last three finals, had high hopes of becoming the first team to dethrone Nigeria as the queens of the African game.

The Ghanaians had travelled to South Africa for a week's pre-tournament preparation and the seriousness of their quest was underlined by the presence of senior government officials in their delegation.

Yet Cameroon shaded the Black Queens in terms of application and effort in what was a mostly dire affair in the Johannesburg Stadium.

Ghana had the only own real effort of the first half when Akua Anokyewaa broke through but delivered a tame shot straight into the arms of the Cameroon goalkeeper.

However, it was Ghana captain Memunatu Sulemana who was the busier goalkeeper in the second half as the Black Queens ran out of fitness fairly rapidly.

Sulemana produced a fine stop to deny Cameroon's Valerie Belemgoto in the best chance of the second half.

Ghana's tiredness led to Cameroon eventually breaking the shackles six minutes into extra time, following which the Black Queens had no more reserves of energy to launch a fight back.

The final whistle from Ugandan referee Constance Adipo set off jubilant celebrations in the Cameroonian camp.




SEE ALSO
African Women's Championship 2004
17 Sep 04  |  African
Teams battle for final places
28 Sep 04  |  African



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