On this day September 15, 2007 (Exactly 13 years ago today) Ghana’s Black Queens booked their exit from the fifth FIFA Women’s World Cup when they lost 0-4 to Canada in their Group C second game at the Hangzou Dragon Stadium.
The Queens who needed a win to initiate the process of holding down a place in the last eight after their 1-4 loss to Australia in the opening game conceded a goal in the opening half and three more on the concluding session to effectively crush out of the three-week fiesta.
It was the Canadians who threatened first in the opening minutes of the game, but the Ghanaians quickly picked up the pieces early enough and twice came close to taking the lead with two quick free kicks just around the victors’ penalty box in the sixth and seventh minutes respectively.
It took the bravado of goalkeeper Sulemana Memuna to stand between the Canadians and an early goal six minutes later as she had to pull a spectacular save reserved for her sort to keep the Queens in the game. Ghana was to strike just after that relief and it was gifted skipper, Adjoa Bayor who picked out Anita Amankwaa with a fine pass initiated through a great solo run from the middle.
Over elaboration saw Amankwaa missing the opportunity to put Ghana ahead after a failed attempt to round up Canada’s goalkeeper Erin MC Leod.
The North Americans reacted well with a counter-attack that left the Queen's defence that had Mavis Danso, Yaa Aveo, Olivia Amoako and Aminatu Ibrahim exposed that produced their first goal on the 16-minute mark through the eventual Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the match, Christine Sinclair.
Bayor, Florence Okoe and Memuna Darku all came close to equalizing but it was Amankwaa who got closest on the stroke of half time when she gifted from Ghana’s invasion in the victors final third but saw her shot deflected off the post and back into play.
The Queens regrouped as the poorer side in the second half as they concede three more goals in the 55th, 62st and 77th minutes respectively.
Venue: Dragon Stadium, Hangzhou
Referee: Nicole Petignat (Switzerland)
Score: Canada 4–0 Ghana
Christine SINCLAIR (16, 62)
Sophie Schmidt (55)
Canada: Erin McLeod, Kristina Kiss, Tanya Dennis, Martina Franko, Randee Hermuss, Candace Chapman, Diana Matheson /Andrea Neil, Katie Thorlakson/Jodi – Ann Robinson, Sophie Schmidt, Kara Lang/Rhian Wilkinson, Christine Sinclair (C)
Coach: Even Pellerud
Ghana: Memunatu Sulemana, Aminatu Ibrahim,
Mavis Danso, Olivia Amoako, Yaa Avoe/Hamdia Abass, Florence Okoe, Memuna Darku /Lydia Ankrah, Adjoa Bayor (C)/Sofia Abdul, Gloria Foriwa, Rumanatu Tahiru, Anita Amankwa
Coach: Isaac Paha
Elsewhere, on this day 15 September 1978 (Exactly 42 years ago today), Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks in 15 rounds by unanimous decision to win the WBA, The Ring & Lineal Heavyweight titles.
On February 15, 1978, a young Leon Spinks took the world heavyweight title from Ali when he won a 15-round split decision against his childhood idol. At the time, Spinks had only fought in seven professional bouts (none of which had gone beyond ten rounds).
On September 15, 1978, Leon Spinks defended his heavyweight title against Muhammad Ali in an immediate rematch. Promoted by Bob Arum, “The Battle of New Orleans” took place at the Superdome where celebrities such as Jackie Onassis, John Travolta and Kris Kristofferson joined a record-breaking indoor crowd of approximately 70,000 spectators to witness Muhammad Ali’s last great stand
“I want you to know I’m real serious for this fight,” Ali announced prior to the rematch. “Put your money on me. I cannot get no better.”
On fight night Spinks was no match for Ali. The senior pugilist showed the world everything he had learned in his many years fighting at the highest level. He displayed the skills and tricks he had accumulated through years of fighting Joe Frazier, Earnie Shavers, George Foreman, Ken Norton, and Sonny Liston. Avenging his loss, Ali went on to win a convincing, uncontroversial unanimous decision.
After the bout, Ali announced his retirement. However, he returned to the sport shortly after only to suffer back-to-back losses to Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick. During those final two bouts, Ali was a shell of his former greatness. But “The Battle of New Orleans” will always be remembered as the last great stand of the world’s greatest champion.
On this day 15 September 2018 (Exactly 2 years ago today) Russian boxer Gennady Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs) suffered the first loss of his professional career when Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvares won an epic middleweight world title fight in Las Vegas.
A year after their first fight ended in a controversial draw, Alvares clinched a points decision that again divided experts in what many thought could have gone the other way.
Two judges gave it 115-113 for Alvares, while the other had it a 114-114 draw.
The fight, in front of a sellout, celebrity-studded crowd that included Mike Tyson, actor Will Smith and basketballer LeBron James at T-Mobile Arena, lived up to its billing as the best two pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Golovkin landed some big blows to the head in the closing rounds, opening a cut above Alvares’ left eye, but the Mexican prevailed to improve his career record to 50-1-2, including 34 knockouts.
Golovkin fell to 38-1-1, with 34 knockouts.
It was his first defeat since the 2005 world amateur championships.
“It was a very tight fight,” said Alvares in a ringside interview after becoming the WBC, WBA, IBO and Ring Magazine world champion.
“I looked for a knockout but it’s difficult. He’s a great fighter but in the end I got the victory.
I’m very excited, very emotional. I want to thank everyone who believes in me. This is for them and long live Mexico.”
Kazakh Golovkin, 36, thought he had perhaps done enough to get the decision.
“I’m not going to say who won tonight, because the victory belongs to Canelo according to the judges,” he was quoted as saying by ESPN.
“I thought it was a very good fight for the fans, and very exciting. I thought I fought better than he did.
Send your news stories to and features to . Chat with us via WhatsApp on +233 55 2699 625.