Following the 10th edition of the Jawaharlal Nehru Gold Cup for the men’s Indian national football team in 1993, bringing teams such as Romania, Russia and Cameroon to the tournament, Jayaram Jayalalithaa, Chief Minister of the State of Tamil Nadu – Southeast India – bring a women’s competition to the intercontinental level for the first time for their country.
As a sign of fighting deprivation and prejudice with women in sport across borders, Jayalalithaa, on her own, organized the competition in Madras (now Chennai) in 1994. Her initiative forced the support of the Indian Football Federation, which invited the selections of Bulgaria, Chile, Ghana, Hungary, New Zealand, Russia and Uzbekistan.
On August 25, 1994, the first game of the Jayalalitha Cup, as it was called the tournament, happened between Bulgaria and New Zealand, that next to Russia and Ghana, integrated in Group A. Group B was composed by the owners of the India, Chile, Uzbekistan and Hungary. All games were played at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and covered by The Indian Express.
Ghana steals dinner
The Ghanaian women’s soccer team traveled only for the second time in their short life, only two matches so far, two on African soil in 1991, against Nigeria for the first round of the African Cup of Nations, defeats by 5 to 1 in Lagos and 2 to 1 in Accra.
Even with a young and inexperienced cast, suspicion did not linger over the athletes, the Black Queens, as they are known to date, debuted in the competition on August 27 against Russia. Those led by coach Edussi, were defeated by 2 to 1, under an audience of almost 1000 people.
Encouraged by their first international showdown, Ghana’s players set out for the next duel against New Zealand. Her attacking double worked and Elizabeth Baidu (twice) and Mary Manu set up the first win of her team’s history, 3-0.
In the third and final game of the group stage, the Black Queens faced Bulgaria for a place in the semifinals and saw Marina Manova open the scoring for the Bulgarians. Needing victory, the Ghanaians went on the attack and, with a hat-trick from Baidu and two goals from Manu, they turned the duel into a rout, 5-1.
The semifinal match was against favorite Hungary, which had one of the few professional players of the tournament, the chisel Edit Kern. However, a fevered virus picked up six top players and hampered Hungarian plans. Having nothing to do with it, the Africans scored an impressive 4-1 with goals from Manu (twice), Clottey and Baidu, Pribéli netted.
The day was September 9, 1994 and the grand finale was seen as a rematch between Ghana and Russia. The Ghanaians fell in the taste of the Indians and took with them most of the local crowd. With an overwhelming offensive power, shown in the last few games, Russia had been the only team to stop it and not only that, it had also triumphed on that occasion.
The Black Queens did not change their game scheme and were determined to leave South India with the title. Edussi kept the base with Zutah, Avoe, Patience Sackey, Angyerwaa, Yeboah, Appiah, Clottey, Alberta Sackey and with the double terror of the opposing defense, Baidu and Manu.
In a balanced match, decided only in the extension, after a 1-1 draw with goals from Baidu and Svetlitskaya. Ghana’s top scorer, Elizabeth Baidu, gave the final numbers to that decision, 2-1 and African title in Indian lands, which remains to this day as the only African team to have won a trophy out of their continent.
Jayalalitha Cup Results
Bulgaria 1-0 New Zealand [Staneva (?)]
Russia 2-1 Ghana [Griogorieva, Savina; Manu (?)]
Bulgaria 0-0 Russia
Ghana 3-0 New Zealand [Baidu 2x, Manu]
Russia 1-0 New Zealand [Svetlitskaya]
Ghana 5-1 Bulgaria [Baidu 3x, Manu 2x; Manova]
Hungary 4-0 Chile [Kern 2x, Bajkó 2x]
Uzbekistan 2-0 India [Abdurasulova (?)]
Hungary 7-0 Uzbekistan [Kern 3x, Bajkó 2x, Szarka, Pribéli]
Chile 5-0 Uzbekistan [Ayala, Sanchez, Ada Cruz, Bravo, Aguayo]
Hungary 8-1 India [Kern 4x, Paraoanu, Fülöp, Pribéli, Nagyabonyi; Pushpa Das]
Chile 2-1 India [Sanchez, Ada Cruz; Chaoba Devi]
Ghana 4-1 Hungary [Manu 2x, Clottey, Baidu; Pribéli]
Russia 2-0 Chile [Savina, Kapkova]
3rd Place Dispute
Chile w / o Hungary (retired, because the match would be on 09/09/94, the day before their commitment at home, against the Czech Republic for the Eurocopa qualifiers of 1995).
Ghana 2-1 Russia [Baidu 2x, Svetlitskaya]
Arsenal: Edti Kern (Hungary) – 9 goals.
Best Player: Elizabeth Baidu (Ghana).