Zito declares Elephants clash a ‘must-win’ game

Karim Zito

Karim Zito

The Head Coach of the national U-17 team the Black Starlets, Abdul Karim Zito has declared tomorrow’s clash with the Junior Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire as a must win encounter.


The Starlets booked the semi final place against the West Africans at the on-going West African Football Union (WAFU) Zone B U-17 Championships in Niger after drawing goalless with Niger and beating Togo 2-1 in the last group match on Saturday.


Goals from Christian Agyenim Boateng in the 42nd minute and a penalty converted by Simon Appiah in the 85th minute were enough to see the side through on a 2-1 margin.


Zito told the media that tomorrow’s game is a must win clash and that his charges would go all out to defeat the Ivorians as they hope to inch closer to the final ticket.

“This is a fierce battle; there is no opportunity to play a second match. Our main purpose for coming here is to qualify for Africa and if we are to achieve that we must climb over our opponents tomorrow and make the finals.”


“We are putting finishing touches to our offensive and tactical play ahead of the game and with the support of Ghanaians we would surely scale the Cote d’Ivoire hurdle.”


In Zito’s view, the team has improved steadily and coming against the Junior Elephants tomorrow, they put up an impressive to emerge tops.


He described the Junior Elephants as a well drilled side and noted that they are a good side with exceptional talents upfront that can cause havoc on any day.

“We are going to plot a good strategy to stop their front-liners while hoping the Starlets attack of Boateng, Appiah and Salim Yussif would have a good game and see the team through to the finals.

Cote d’Ivoire bounced back from a 5-1 defeat to record a 3-0 win to book a place in the semi-finals.

Host Niger will face Nigeria in the other semi-finals game.

The winner of the tournament will make it to the African championships to be staged in Tanzania.

By Raymond Ackumey

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