The head coach of Ampem Darkoa of Ghana, Nana Joe Adarkwa adopted his well-planned tactical prowess to be able to earn a 3-1 win against Huracanes of Equatorial Guinea to seal a semi-final spot at the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League on Sunday.
Tracey Twum’s brace and that of Yanyimaya Gnabekan ensured that Christine Essombe’s strike in the additional minutes of the second half was a mere consolation.
Adarkwa during his post-match comments spelled out his tactics which ensured the victory over the Equato-Guineans.
“We played all our hearts out and are happy that we are here now. The girls know why we are here. We came here for a purpose. What is that purpose? We came here for the cup. Nobody came here to come and sleep. They know what we are after,” Adarkwa told journalists.
“For this game, we knew that our opponents were very strong and so we played from the wings to run over them. All our goals came from the wings and against the run-of-play counter. We observed that our opponents are very strong physically. I told them to release the ball early. We used speed to beat them.”
The win showed the Ghanians resolve to always bounce back immediately after defeats. During the 2022 WAFU-B final, the team lost to Nigerian side, Bayelsa Queens and bounced to earn a 1-0 win over another Nigerian team, Delta Queens this year to make it to their maiden CAF Women’s Champions League.
After a 3-0 loss to AS Mande in their second Group B match, the Ghanaians recovered again with a 3-1 win on Sunday, a feat the coach sees as coming to reality as a result of psychological and tactical works by the back room staff.
“After losing our second match, we spoke to them and they accepted their faults which was we bounced back. I am happy that we can qualify for the semi-finals.” He continued
“The players were down after losing that game and couldn’t eat. We sat them down and psyched them before we did some shake-ups into the game.
“We went to the training ground to correct ourselves then right now, we are here. Going to the semi-finals, we know that the team that we are going to meet are very strong. we are going to work towards that and see what will happen on that day. Right now, we are in the semi-final and want to get to the final. We will work hard and see what happens.”
Ampem Darkoa will face Sporting Club Casablanca of Morocco in the semi-finals and hope to record another win over a Moroccan side in the competition after a stunning 2-1 win over holders, ASFAR FC in their opening match.
“We played their league opponents, ASFAR FC in the group stage and will approach the game in the same manner as we did against ASFAR for the semi-finals with SC Casablanca.
“When you come to Ghana, we have our youth teams which we use to feed the main team. Right now, when it comes to Ghana Balck Queens, our senior women’s national team, we have about seven players in the national team. We used to produce for our national teams. At the U-20, we have six players on the team. When these players travel, we can replace them.’ He concluded.
Meanwhile, double goal scorer, Tracey Twum also expressed her happiness after helping Ampem Darkoa to book a place in the last four.
She said: “I played very well today because in our match against AS Mande, I couldn’t perform well. When we were coming into this game, I was so determined that no matter what I would have to help my team to qualify for the next stage. I performed very well.”