The Black Satellites of Ghana will today face the Young Eagles of Mali in the final group B game of the on-going football competition of the African Games in Morocco.
The winner will progress to the semi-finals stage of the competition but a draw will favour the Malians who currently lead the table on four points, ahead of Senegal with the same points.
Ghana is in third position after beating Burundi and losing to Senegal on Wednesday and would need all three points at stake today to be sure of qualification.
When the two teams met this year at the Africa Youth Championships in Niger, the Malians run away with a 1-0 win, making them slight favourites again over the Satellites.
Today’s encounter will re-enact the same script but on a different stage which Coach Yaw Preko is optimistic will favour his side.
According to him, the Satellites are aware of the danger the Malians pose and would be ready for them.
“They denied us the chance to go to the World Cup and most of these players are still bitter with that experience. Skipper Emmanuel Toku is backing his fellow players to play above themselves this afternoon to seal revenge on the Malians.”
Mali have been a thorn in the flesh of Ghana lately, especially at the junior levels and this is a trend Preko and his charges have vowed to halt by beating them to qualify as they aim to replicate Ghana’s 2011 feat in the same tournament.
He noted that victory would not come easy for his side as pressure would be on them to deliver.
“We are at a disadvantage position now and it’s only a win that would make qualification clear for us; that is what we are focused on.”
Toku who was part of the side that lost to the same side in Niger, is aware of the side they will be facing and believes with a little push, they can win.
For the Eagles Head Coach Mamoutou Kane, his side has their minds on wrecking havoc to the Satellites’ ambition because they needed it to conquer all for the gold medal.
“We may have beaten Ghana at the Africa championships but that is in the past; we have a big game against them so we want to remain focused. We know how dangerous they can be and we have to be at our very best if we are to win today and qualify.
BY RAYMPOND ACKUMEY