Black Satellites chase semi final, World Cup tickets at AYC

Ishahaku Konda

Ishahaku Konda

The Black Satellites of Ghana will chase a place in the semi-finals of the ongoing CAF African Youth Championships (AYC) and a ticket to the FIFA World Cup in Poland later this year when they take on Senegal’s Junior Teranga Lions in the second Group B game at the Maradi Stadium in Niger, today.

A draw, however, would throw the group wide open as the final round of games determine qualifiers for the next round.

Ghana has not qualified for the global show-piece since a second-round finish at the tournament in New Zealand in 2015 where they lost 3-0 to Mali and would be looking to return to the world stage with a win today.

Incidentally, Ghana’s failure to be at the last edition of the tournament was caused by a 3-2 win over the Satellites by the Senegalese, setting the stage for a cagey encounter today.

Head Coach of the Satellites, Jimmy Cobblah, is, however, unhappy with the failure of CAF to reschedule the fixture to tomorrow after playing their first game a day later through no fault of theirs.

With only 24 hours to prepare for another gigantic fixture, Cobblah fears it make take a huge toll on his boys.

Speaking ahead of the game, Coach Cobblah said an extra day’s rest before the game would have helped their preparation but was determined to snatch all three points.

“We are not ready for a second successive defeat at the hands of the Senegalese; the circumstances have somewhat given them an advantage but I believe my boys would rise up to the occasion and deliver.”

Although the team won the first game it did not come easy and Coach Cobblah admitted the need for a better understanding between his central defensive pair of skipper Issahaku Konda and Gideon Mensah.

And against a dangerous Senegalese side, he said it was important to cut out the errors of the first game, lest they be punished severely by the dangerous strike pair of Youssouph Mamadou Badji and Amaadou Sanga.

Also, In Mohamed Camara, Faly Ndaw and Dion Lopy, the Senegalese have intimidating midfielders that can cause problems for the Black Satellites.

With Daniel Lomotey leading the scorers chat with two goals, the defence pair of Formose Mendy, Souleymane Aw and Souleymane Djimou Cisse would have their eyes glued on him.

But that should give the advantage for the likes of Emmanuel Toku, Enoch Atta Agyei and Ibrahim Sadiq to steal the show.

BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY

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