Starlets fired up for Cote d’Ivoire

Karim Zito

Karim Zito

The Head Coach of the national U-17 football team, the Black Starlets, Karim Zito, says his charges are fired for battle and fear no foe.

Karim Zito’s comment is coming ahead of their semi-finals showing against Cote d’Ivoire tomorrow in the ongoing WAFU Zone B U-17 Championships underway in Niger.

After beating Togo 2-1 on Saturday in their final Group A match, the Starlets got a date with Cote d’Ivoire in the last four of the championship tomorrow in a clash which outcome would go a long way to determine their fate.

The Starlets needed to win or get a score-draw to make it out of the group after drawing goalless with Niger in the first group match but managed to secure a late win over the Togolese to confirm their progress.

Zito said after the victory on Saturday that the team was prepared for any kind of opposition thrown at them.

“Every team is here to play, win and make it to the African Championships and so, there are no easy teams left. We have overcome the situation that had us panicking and we are now warming up into the tournament. We welcome any country and we have no fears.”

And such would be the mood the Starlets who would march onto the field to face the Ivoirians who are gradually recovering from the MRI test shock that saw them lose two key players adjudged to be over aged.

The road to this stage of the competition has not been smooth for both countries especially the Ivoirians who lost to Nigeria but managed a tough win against Burkina Faso, a side that also beat the Nigerian team who were initially tagged as favourites for the tournament.

Due to the new format of qualifiers for the 2019 African U17 Championships in Tanzania, Ghana will have to win the Zone B Championships to get to the main championships where the four semi-finalists will represent in the 2019 U-17 World Cup in Peru.

This is the exact situation that has forced all the countries to be cautious in their approach for every game and the approach will not change.

Matches between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire at any level are considered a major clash and this one will be no exception.

Meanwhile, Guinea Bissau and Nigerian officials have been named to be in charge of the game.

Boniface Julio Da Silva will be at the centre for hostilities and would be assisted on the lines by Isah Usman and Efosa Celestine Igudia from Nigeria with Abdullahi Shuaibu, also from Nigeria as the fourth referee.

BY TIMES SPORTS REPORTER

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