Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom was in the stance to cheer his ladies, Elmina Sea Lions, to a 1-0 victory over Police Ladies in the National Women’s League game played at the Military Academy and Training Centre Park at Teshie, Accra.
The team had lost their previous two National Women’s League games and an FA Cup quarter-final in the last three weeks and needed something to lift themselves up, and they got it over Police Ladies.
The game started at a quicker pace as both teams sized each other and tried not to commit themselves into unnecessary errors that will lead to concession of an early lead, but knowing what was at stake for them, Sea Lions seized the game and pushed it to their hosts who resorted to hard tackles and aggressive play.
That tactic ruffled the feathers of the Sea Lions players who cowed into fear and retreated allowing the Police Ladies to come at them. Their possession nearly fetched them the opener as a slick pass cut open the Lions’ defence but goalkeeper in post for Sea Lions stood her ground to prevent her side from falling behind.
The game became a ding-dong affair as both sides tried to win the midfield dominance that could help them break the opponent’s stranglehold but to no avail as both sides traded hotshots at each other’s goal area as the first half wore on.
Sea Lions thought they had taken the lead in the 35th minute of the first half when a beautifully back heeled pass into the path of Olivia Anokye was scuffed wide from 12 yards out.
From here the ladies from Elmina will seize play and push the game to their opponents, sensing a concession of the first goal to Police Ladies could prove harmful, they held their own pushed more players but failed to take advantage of the numerous goal scoring opportunities that came their way ending the first half in stalemate.
From the second half coach Eddy Williams pushed Zinatu Alhassan further upfield to support Olivia Anokye and Theresa Ackon Kobina in attack as he went in search of of the first goal.
This approach nearly fetched the desire results when Zinatu Alhassan found Theresa in acres of space and lobbed the ball over the defence, just as she prepared to pull the trigger, a Police Ladies defender put in a well-timed tackle to prevent the Sea Lions skipper from opening the scoring.
The referee at the centre of the game will rob the away team of a goal scoring opportunity when she failed to play the advantage Olivia Anokye has wriggled herself free of attacks and found herself one on one with the goalkeeper only for referee Delight to halt the game and whistle for infringement 30 seconds later.
Her decision got the technical bench of the Sea Lions infuriated and incensed as they thought she had clearly denied the team a goal scoring opportunity.
Coach Eddy Williams after much consultation with his assistant decided to play two top and withdrew Olivia Anokye for Alice Sarpong in the 68th minute to help bolster the attack. Two minutes after coming on, Alice Sarpong went on a solo run into the Police’s penalty area after being found by Theresa Ackon Kobina outside of the penalty area.
With precision, accuracy and boldness Alice Sarpong strutted forward and shot straight rifled in a shot that went in through the goal post as she left the Police goalkeeper dead. In the midst of the celebrations, Coach Eddy Williams hurried her players on to the pitch to guard against complacency as there was more time to play before the game ends.
From the time they scored the goal, Sea Lions looked threatening as they moved forward trying to add the second that will secure the points while trying not to cede the defence to the Police Ladies by keeping an eye on the host’s attackers. A last gasp Police attack was rebuffed as Eddy Williams instructed his ladies to go behind the ball in order to defend to the end.
With two minutes of the added time elapsing, referee delight signalled to the end of the game to excitement of the away team.
Dr. Nduom, who had come to watch her ladies play, congratulated them for a hard fought victory and urged them to continue with the way they are playing now as they are still in the hunt for the league title.
Story: Douglas Agyemang