The former Ghanaian skipper has confessed that she was heartbroken when the Super Falcons dashed the Black Queens dreams of playing at the Summer Olympics in Greece one-and-a-half decades ago
2003 CAF African Women Footballer of the Year, Adwoa Bayor, says losing the 2004 Athens Olympic Games ticket to Nigeria was the most painful defeat of her international career.
Bayor, 41, played 33 games for the Queens and was part of the Ghanaian team at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the United States.
A first Olympic Games appearance came within reach when she helped Ghana secure a respectable 1-1 draw against Nigeria in Ibadan, in the first leg of the penultimate round of the qualifiers in 2004.
A victory of whatever shape in front of their home fans, two weeks later, was all Ghana needed to emerge as Africa’s only representative at the Olympic Games. Sixteen years ago, Africa had only a single slot for women’s football at the Summer Olympics.
But the Super Falcons held their arch-rivals to another 1-1 draw in Accra, to end affairs 2-2 on aggregate before edging the resultant penalty shootout 3-2.
When asked if she had any regrets during her distinguished career, Bayor, now retired from national duties, admits that loss to the Falcons hurt her like no other.
“It was this game (against Nigeria), I wouldn’t like to watch it, I couldn’t eat for about a week,” she said on GTV Sports plus via Ghana Times.
“The whole nation was behind us, and it was a big opportunity for us to make it for the first time.
“We had the advantage after Memunatu saved two penalty kicks, but unfortunately, we couldn’t capitalize on that.
“It was a very sad moment for all the players, and for me, I will say it was the most painful defeat suffered during my time with the team.”
Nigeria beat South Africa 3-2 on aggregate in the final round of qualifiers to book their place in Athens.
The Falcons then made it to the quarterfinals at the Games, where they lost 2-1 to Germany.