A strike by a former Black Queens captain, Alberta Sackey, has been nominated by world football governing body, FIFA, for the Greatest Goal at the Women’s World Cup contest.
One of Alberta Sackey’s two goals, which propelled Ghana to a 2-1 win against Australia at the 2003 Women’s World Cup in the USA, has been shortlisted by FIFA among 10 goals to be voted for as the greatest goal at the Women’s World Cup.
Ghana may not be represented at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in June, but the former captain could be making history as one of the greatest goalscorers of the competition.
As a prelude to the 2019 tournament, football’s world governing body has begun a countdown to the tournament, taking fans down memory lane about the previous tournaments. And there could not have been a better tribute and recognition of the former Ghana captain’s effort.
Alberta, who captained the Queens to two successive World Cup tournaments in 1999 and 2003, scored a brace against Australia to secure Ghana’s first and only win at the World Cup.
The goal, the opener in the Queens’ victory, was a strike of supreme quality. Having lost their opening game 0-1 against China in Group D, the Queens needed to recover and it was captain Alberta who led.
In the second game played on September 28, 2003, at PGE Park in Portland, Alberta stunned the Australians, who had earlier in 1999 held the Ghanaian side to a drawn game with her incisive goals.
In the 34th minute, the Ghana captain cleverly intercepted a pass from Aussie midfielder Bryony Duus about 25 yards from the box, freed herself from her markers Diane Alagich and Cheryl Salisbury.
With a little space to turn, she kept the ball under control before unleashing a powerful strike with the outside of her right foot into the top-left corner of the post beyond the outstretched arms of Australian goalkeeper, Melissa Barbieri’s goal.
Five minutes later, Sackey would double Ghana’s lead – the second not as picturesque as the earlier, but it was significant as it handed the Queens their first and only victory in their three appearances at the WWC (1999, 2003, 2007). The Australians got their consolation goal on the 60th minute, but the die was already cast.
FIFA is asking fans to vote for the greatest goal in the Women’s World Cup history and fans have up to May 6, to vote to make their choice and help their favourite goal win.
To vote, fans will have to log on to www.fifa.com and to FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.
Some of the goals that have been shortlisted are:
Brazil’s Marta Vieira da Silva (China 2007 WWC)
Marta of Brazil’s scored a brace as her side beat the USA 4-0 in the semi-finals of the 2007 tournament in China and one of those goals, not surprisingly, has been nominated among the greatest goals of the WWC.
Receiving the ball with her back to goal and Tina Ellertson breathing down her neck, Marta executed the deftest of heel flicks to leave her marker chasing shadows. As she bore down on goal, she cut inside another defender before firing home a low, unstoppable drive with her not so strong right foot.
Marta, the tournament’s all-time topscorer with 15 goals, described that goal as one of her best.
USA’s Carla Llyod (Canada 2015 WWC):
USA midfielder, Carli Lloyd third goal in the hat-trick she scored in USA’s 5-2 walloping of Japan in the final of the 2015 WWC held in Canada.
In the running to be named the Women’s World Cup’s Greatest Goal, Lloyd completed her remarkable first-half hat-trick in USA’s 5-2 final win with an audacious strike that completely made mockery of Japan goalkeeper Naomi Kaihori.
Mexico’s Monica Ocampo (Germany 2011 WWC)
Mexico were making their return to the world finals after a 12-year absence and played their opening match against England in Wolfsburg. El Tri struggled to get in the game, however, and found themselves a goal behind when Fara Williams struck for the Lionesses 21 minutes in.
Twelve minutes later, Ocampo equalised for Mexico. She took a couple of paces forward before powering a dipping drive just under the crossbar and into the top corner of the net to earn her side’s first WWC point.