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It’s crunch time in Benin as teams seek final tickets

By Christian Okpara
14 September 2022   |   3:32 am
The dreamers have been separated from the realists at the ongoing Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament. On Monday, losers in the quarterfinals and those who didn’t even make it to that exalted stage were given their dues for being part of the most important women football pre-season competition in Nigeria.

Aduku, Osahon look beyond semifinals
The dreamers have been separated from the realists at the ongoing Betsy Obaseki Women Football Tournament. On Monday, losers in the quarterfinals and those who didn’t even make it to that exalted stage were given their dues for being part of the most important women football pre-season competition in Nigeria.

Now, the potential champions have opportunity to show why they deserve that honour, starting with today’s semifinals.

And it cannot be tougher than the pairings, with home team, Edo Queens, billed to face former Nigerian champions, Nasarawa Amazons, just as Lagos-based FC Robo will try their luck against another heavyweight in the country’s women football, Delta Queens.

The first semifinal between Edo Queens and Nasarawa Queens FC will hold at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium by 1.00 p.m., while FC Robo and Delta Queens will enter the fray at the same venue by 4.00 p.m.

To qualify for the semifinals, Edo Queens beat Heartland Queens of Owerri 4-0, while Nasarawa Amazons defeated hard-fighting Naija Ratels 3-2.

FC Robo Queens had a comfortable ride to the semifinals, beating Confluence Queens 6-0 in the quarterfinals, while Delta Queens scraped past Royal Queens 2-1.

Speaking ahead of today’s battle against Nasarawa Amazons, Edo Queens Coach, Moses Aduku, acknowledged that his side must be more clinical today than they were in their previous games.

“We created many goal scoring opportunities in the last three games, but couldn’t score most of them. We need to be more clinical in front of goal when we face Nasarawa Amazons,” he said.

In their last game against Heartland on Monday, Eunice Godwin recorded a hat trick, as Edo Queens romped to a 4-0 win.

That is the form Aduku wants his players to re-enact against Nasarawa Amazons.

“Truly, the team is still work in progress. It is good we are creating chances and that’s the beauty of the team. We are hopeful that we will get better before the beginning of the new season.

He added: “It is a challenge for us and we are working so hard not to disappoint our fans her in Benin. I am confident about the quality of players we have and more positive that we would come out good. The state government, technical crew, backroom staff and all the players have done a lot to improve this team ahead of the new season.”

Also looking forward to a great semifinal game today, FC Robo Queens Head Coach, Emmanuel Osahon, said his side is ready for whatever Delta Queens have in store for them.

He said: “We had a great game against Confluence Queens, winning them by six goals to nil, but the truth is that we have gotten past that and forgotten about the game.

“We are now focused on the game against Delta Queens. They are a very good side, but we are determined to get to the finals and win the tournament.”

Osahon, whose side fell at the semifinals stage last year, said FC Robo would not allow that to happen again.

“We are working hard to make the final and not even Delta Queens can stop us.”