Black Meteors Assistant Coach, Michael Osei, has declared that the first leg draw with Algeria would not mark the end of the journey for the team as far as their dream qualification to the Africa championship and subsequent Olympic Games qualification were concerned.
He told the media after a lackluster performance that it was not over for the Ghanaians, adding that what they saw of the Algerians will put them in a better position to plan ahead of the second leg in Algiers.
The national U-23 was held to a 1-1 draw game by the Algerians in a game the Ghanaians laboured to pull even from the spot.
Although the Meteors wasted the first penalty awarded the team by skipper Yaw Yeboah, they emerged the luckiest side as the Algerians missed two glaring opportunities that could have made the second leg a Himalayan task.
With that outcome, fans left the stadium in despondency but Osei remains confident the Meteors will put up a much improved performance in the second leg scheduled for tomorrow in Algiers.
He admitted the task would not be an easy one but stressed every member of the team was aware and are ready for it.
“Every member of this group understands the enormity of the task we face tomorrow but we are ready for it. The tougher the opponent, the best we get from the players. It is not over for us. The result was not the best but they will also be under pressure when we score and anything can happen.”
“We struggled in the first half but were a bit unlucky to have missed from the spot. That could have changed our fortunes and also put them under some pressure. Ending the first half with the advantage gave them the strength to continue but we will avoid a similar situation in the second leg.”
The Meteors top marksman, Bernard Tekpetey is also expecting a different approach and mentality for the second leg as the team hopes to secure qualification for the Africa championship.
He said the team had a difficult game with the confident Algerians but added the Black Meteors remain focused on upsetting them at their backyard.
Other players of the team including skipper Yaw Yeboah and Dawda Mohammed who scored the equalizing goal from the spot have also expressed confidence of silencing the Algerians to qualify.
Meanwhile the team left for Algeria for the second leg of the CAF Olympic qualifier yesterday for the game scheduled for tomorrow.
Head Coach of the team, Mohammed went with an 18-man squad that saw a single change from the group that played in the first leg on Friday.
Midfielder Micheal Agbekornu replaced Nurudeen Abdul-Aziz.
Players that made the trip include Kwame Baah, Kingsley Fobi, Gideon Mensah, Zakaria Fuseni, Nicholas Opoku, Majeed Ashimeru, Yaw Yeboah, Osman Bukari, Joseph Panstil, Dauda Mohammed and Bernard Tekpetey.
The rest are Joel Fameyeh,William Denkyi, Habid Mohammed, Isaac Twum, Richmond Ayi, Emmanuel Kudjoe and Micheal Agbekornu.
BY ANDREW NORTEY